Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Adrian Forde, thanking workers of Government’s Highway Beautification Project today. Minister Forde was joined by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and National Beautification, Daphne Kellman (right). (A. Reid/BGIS)

The hard work of those helping Government to clean the highways and other areas across the island has not gone unnoticed.

This was underscored today by Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Adrian Forde, as he officially launched the Highway Beautification Project, on Highway 4, where work had already started and progressed towards the Norman A. Niles Roundabout, in St. Michael.

Noting that words could not express the delight and appreciation he has for the hard work of the young men and women involved, the Minister stressed that they continued to work “tirelessly to ensure the success of the project”. 

While pointing out that they were working to have disposable income to support their families, he added: “That is how we are going to grow Barbados and the only way we can do it is if every single technical [person] associated with Barbados come out to help build Barbados in a special way.”

Minister Forde pointed out that there were 720 persons employed and cleaning communities across Barbados, who work week on-week off, and there were 100 persons working at the National Botanical Gardens. 

“If that is not impressive employment, in one of the most depressive times in the world, I don’t know what it is,” he said, adding that the Ministry was employing both young and old persons and it was about treating persons equally.

The project, though launched today, was started about two weeks ago.  It comprises some 71 workers, who have transferred from the Ministry of Transport, Works and Water Resources, and are part of the Clean and Green project of the Environment Ministry, which involves the beautification of Highways 1 to 7.

According to Minister Forde, so far, cleaning was carried out from Eagle Hall to Warrens Roundabout; Jemmotts Lane to Combermere School; Tweedside Road to Howell’s Cross Road and Hothersal Turning to Bibby’s Lane, St. Michael. 

Explaining that once the highways were cleaned, the workers would plant hedgerow and other natural flora, including citronella and lemon grasses, he added that this would prevent soil erosion and degradation.

“The highway, with the khus khusgrass, as we know it, that prevents the soil from eroding; a very important part of our biodiversity response.…

“It is going to preserve our biodiversity.  It is going to stop our erosion and it has health benefits to it, along with beautifying this whole country…. We intend to make this small country the most beautiful place in the western hemisphere,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the National Conservation Commission (NCC), Senator Rudy Grant, assured Barbadians that the NCC would continue its efforts at beautifying all areas, and urged his countrymen to also play their part.  

Recalling the Merry Men’s song: Beautiful, Beautiful Barbados – Gem of the Caribbean Sea’, Mr. Grant said: “I hope that what this project does is create an impetus; create a catalyst for Barbadians to recognise that we have a responsibility to keep our environment clean and to beautify.”

Furthermore, he stressed the beautification project should influence them to beautify their own surroundings.

“We have a situation in Barbados where we still get too many complaints of persons who are throwing litter through the vehicles that they are travelling in, and we want to use this opportunity to encourage Barbadians to be more conscious of the environment and to ensure that they use their efforts as well to clean and to beautify,” he added.

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