Barbadians will gain some insight into the work of the Soil Conservation Unit later this month, when that department celebrates its 50th anniversary with a week of activities, from Sunday, October 28, to Saturday, November 3.       

According to Senior Agricultural Officer and Officer in Charge of the St. Andrew Unit, Charleston Lucas, the 50th anniversary celebrations will be used, in part, to highlight the vulnerability of the Scotland District, as well as its outstanding contribution to Barbados in terms of small business development and tourism.

“We want to use the opportunity to highlight the fragility of the area and the fact that it needs special measures. People have to live with the environment and not try to impose too much of what they want on it,” Mr. Lucas explained, adding that the  area’s contribution in providing sand and clay,  as well opportunities for craft-persons  involved in tourism, will also be underscored.

As a precursor to the scheduled week of activities, the department will be hosting a Sponsored Walk this Saturday, October 20. The event will kick off at 6:00 a.m. from the vicinity of the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) depot in   Belleplaine, St. Andrew, and end at Bathsheba in St. Joseph.
The week of celebrations will get under way next Sunday, October 28, with an 8:00 a.m.  Church Service at the St. Andrew’s Parish Church.

On Tuesday, October 30, the department will stage a Health Day in collaboration with the Maurice Byer Polyclinic in Speightstown.  It will be held at the Soil Conservation Unit’s headquarters, and will have as its theme: ‘Working towards a Healthier Lifestyle.’

The event will feature a number of educational talks by medical and environmental health practitioners on various topics, including:  “Protecting your Health from Dengue Fever and Food-borne Illnesses’ and ‘Better Eating towards a Healthier Lifestyle’. Free blood pressure and cholesterol testing will be available, and there will also be displays by various health institutions.

Sporting activities will also be featured in the celebrations on Thursday and Friday, November 1 and 2. On Thursday, beginning at 1:00 p.m., a Soil Conservation cricket team  will take on the Isolation Cavaliers in a friendly cricket match. The fun activities will continue on Friday, at 1:00 p.m., with a Games Evening/Lime at the Isolation Playing Field at Haggatts, St. Andrew. It will feature an in-house domino competition, other indoor games and karaoke, among other activities.

The curtain comes down on the week of activities on Saturday, November 3, with an Awards Ceremony at the Dining Club, Manor Lodge, St. Michael. The ceremony, which gets under way at 7:00 p.m., will honour outstanding past and current employees. Minister of Agriculture, Senator Erskine Griffith, will deliver the feature address at the event.

The Unit will also be staging other activities during the year to mark this important milestone.

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