The residents of Englerston placed their bulk waste at the front of their homes to be collection by the Department of Environmental Health, Wednesday, April 2, as part of Englerston Urban Renewal Liveable Neighbourhood Clean Up Campaign. (Photo/Patrick Hanna)
By: Llonella Gilbert
NASSAU, Bahamas – The Englerston Urban Renewal Liveable Neighbourhood Centre has launched a major clean up of the area which is intended to help reduce crime, improve the environment and increase community spirit – three of the four key objectives of the programme.
Centre Manager at the Englerston Urban Renewal Centre Patrice Miller explained that one of the overarching goals of the urban renewal programme is to reduce crime in order to create liveable neighbourhoods.
Ms. Miller said one of the things the police made clear to the urban renewal team is that derelict vehicles are primarily used to store illegal drugs and weapons.
“With the eradication of derelict vehicles you tend to eradicate that kind of crime within the community,” she said. “Once you reduce crime some of the other goals of urban renewal automatically fall into place.”
Ms. Miller said Englerston has been cut into six zones with the clean up divided into two days in zone one.
Residents were encouraged to collect all of their bulk garbage and place it front of their houses for pick up by the Department of Environmental Health on Wednesday, April 2.
On Saturday, April 5 the centre managers and facilitators not only supervised the cleanup of each street in zone one, they also participated as well.
Ms. Miller said the main aim for the day was to get the children from zone one to “participate in keeping their community clean, green and pristine” and foster community spirit.
Those children and adults who worked were treated to breakfast after their hard work.
Ms. Miller said, “The new urban renewal liveable neighbourhood programme is designed for sustainability and that is why it is not just something that urban renewal and Environmental Health is doing, it is something we have the community involved with.
“With this venture and partnership, we are hoping to enforce sustainability because we understand that if you do it for them, they will not be a part of it, and it will not have any value. But if they are involved in it then they will understand that this thing has meaning and value.”
Therefore, the Centre Manager said the clean up will be an ongoing project that will move into the other zones of Englerston.
She added that all of the programmes planned for Englerston to make the environment more liveable and to reduce crime will be duplicated in the eight other urban areas.
The centre manager for the Kemp Road Urban Renewal Centre Kolemae Pedican also said the clean up campaign must be sustainable and continuous. “You cannot just do it once; it has to be a monthly or weekly thing so that it keeps in the forefront of people’s minds.
“In order to have a safe environment we need to have a clean environment. Anywhere you see dirt is an invitation for criminal activity. So hopefully at the end of the day we will see something different.”
Parliamentary Secretary in Ministry of Housing and National Insurance Brensil Rolle who toured zone one during the clean up Saturday said, “Hopefully what will happen at the end of the day is there could be a maintenance programme, because the children who participate in this event today will learn to continue to do keep their environment and surroundings clean and really continue to empower the community.”