Wed | Feb 8, 2023

Lucea ‘beach clean-up’ lacked adequate manpower

Published:Saturday | September 24, 2022 | 12:05 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer


While many volunteers turned out last Saturday to help clean up the Lucea Fisherman’s Beach in Hanover, Petra Vernon-Foster, president of the Parish Development Committee (PDC), said much more could have been done had they gotten the support of the stakeholders who reneged on their promise to support the effort, which was an International Coastal Clean-up Day project.

“We could do with a lot more volunteers as the Bamboo that was washed down from the Riley River as a result of the recent flooding of the town, most of it is on the beach. We have arranged with the Western Parks and Markets to come and remove the garbage,” said Vernon-Foster, who noted that the volunteers gave it their best shot.

Vernon-Foster told The Gleaner that the fisherfolk who utilise the beach, were very cooperative in helping to clean the area. They collected all the bamboo on the beach and put them in piles, while the other volunteers spent time collecting the plastic items discarded on the beach.

Some 20 locations in Hanover were registered by the Jamaica Environment Trust as part of International Coastal Clean-up Day activities in the parish. However, the main project was the Fisherman Beach, located on the outskirts of Lucea. It attracted over 40 volunteers representing the Grand Palladium Hotel in Point; fishermen; and the PDC.

The Fisherman Beach has been in a deplorable state for a long time as most of bamboo and plastic containers which flowed in the sea, via floodwaters from the problematic Riley River, ended up on the beach.

While they are pleased with the clean-up effort, some of the fisherfolk are wary about the immediate future as they fear that unless the bamboo and plastics which are piled up on the beach for removal are moved away quickly, another flooding episode could put them right back to the pre-clean up situation.

“We had to light it (set the pile on fire) in the past, to get rid of some of it. We would like the authorities to come in and move the stuff to a proper dump site,” a fisherman told The Gleaner, noting that they don’t want to have to resort to the environmentally unfriendly activity of burning the items.

Noel Rooms, who led the Grand Palladium Hotel landscaping team, said they felt obligated to participate in the exercise, especially since the beach is in close proximity to the hotel.

“The Grand Palladium Hotel always takes part in clean-up efforts like this, and will continue to do so,” said Rooms. “It is important to note that beach areas need plenty attention; they must be properly maintained. You cannot just come today and do some work and expect it to stay clean always.”

Among the other area that were targeted in Hanover for clean-up were the Lucea Bus Park, the Lucea Harbour, Watson Taylor Park Beach, the beach at the Lucea Examination Depot, Old Steamer Beach, Sawyers Beach, and Bloody Bay Beach.