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Westwood High wins two JET awards

Published:Friday | April 29, 2016 | 4:00 AMJason Cross
The view from the administrative building at Westwood High School.

Westwood High School was selected winner in two separate categories of the Jamaica Environment Trust's (JET) Clean Coasts, Tourism Action Club Research Day and Competition, held recently at the Terra Nova hotel.

Nine institutions were selected to participate in the competition. Each group was required to demonstrate the impact that solid waste has on Jamaica's tourism product, through usage of 3-D models, multimedia presentations, songs and skits.

The Trelawny-based institution was awarded Best Display Done by a Secondary School and for the most creative display. Moneague College was awarded Best Display Done by a Tertiary Institution.

The Best Spokesperson award went to St George's College's deputy head boy, Sayeed Bernard.

The competition was held under the theme, 'Sun, Sea and ... Solid Waste?' and is an initiative coordinated by JET and funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund.

There are tourism action clubs in a number of high schools and colleges and they work closely with the Jamaica Tourist Board's tourism awareness unit. The unit aims to promote environmental stewardship through proper solid waste management and sensitise young Jamaicans on the value of tourism.

"We know that solid waste has impact on our public health and on our environment, but we also need to take into account that it does have an impact on our economy, because it does affect tourism," said JET's deputy CEO Suzanne Stanley. The objectives of the competition were to provide students with the opportunities to learn about solid waste issues relevant to Jamaica, illustrate how poor solid waste management can affect tourism and students were introduced to techniques of conducting research.

 

Appeal

 

JET's CEO Diana McCauley, took the opportunity to appeal to Jamaicans to be mindful of the impact of throwing garbage, especially plastic bottles, on to the roadways and into the sea. She described the manner in which citizens freely discard their waste on the roads, in gullies and into water bodies as heartbreaking.

"We have to stop putting garbage into the sea. In fact, I hear Cayman is about to sue us. All our garbage is ending up in Cayman.

Plastic is very long-lived, it will travel the world. We have actually turned the sea into a soup of small plastic bits," she said.