The National Conservation Commission (NCC) has condemned the indiscriminate dumping of waste in its public parks and beaches, and is appealing to the public to stop the unlawful and unsightly practice.
In a recent statement, the NCC, which is responsible for maintaining these areas, said some culprits had taken to dumping domestic and commercial waste, dead animals as well as bulk waste, such as stoves, refrigerators and beds, in the skips located at some of the parks and beaches at night.
However, the skips are provided at select locations to accommodate the anticipated waste that will be generated. The situation is so bad, stated the NCC, that the skips were overflowing. Furthermore, if they are removed or there is a delay in replacing them, the dumping continues as the waste is then discarded on the ground.
“The bad practice of indiscriminately littering in our parks and beaches destroys the beauty and enjoyment of those areas, and hence, negatively affects tourism and the economic benefits that they bring. Maintaining the beauty of these areas is a full-time job that also costs time and money for both the private and public sectors.
“There are also environmental impacts to consider. The possible entanglement and ingestion of some waste items, for example plastics and other particles, can be damaging and sometimes fatal to wildlife, such as turtles, as they may be ingested, resulting in the turtles choking or starving. Another real consequence is habitat destruction. This can include smothering of the seabed, entanglement of litter on coral reefs, etc.,” the NCC outlined.
The agency added that health and safety were also concerns when it came to illegal dumping as vermin, like mosquitoes or rats, which carry life-threatening diseases, bred in the unsanitary conditions. Additionally, discarded cans, broken glass and other dangerous objects also posed a danger to those using public parks and beaches, the NCC noted.
“The National Conservation Commission by virtue of our mandate is responsible for keeping these areas clean and pristine. However, we need the full cooperation of the public to keep the areas clean and environmentally friendly. We are appealing to every member of society to take responsibility and try their best to properly dispose of waste.
“We would prefer for persons to contact the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) if they are experiencing any challenges regarding waste collection in their area. Similarly, they may contact the SSA if they have bulk waste or waste that contains dead animals, etc. They may also take their refuse directly to the landfill as there is no tipping fee,” the Commission advised.