Re: Earth Day 2015
As the world celebrates the importance of caring for mother earth, we feel it is time we all place more importance in the cleanliness of our island. A growing concern of residents and visitors of San Pedro is the improper disposal and littering of garbage which has become a serious environment and health hazard.
On the health side, there continues to be an alarmingly high incidence of cancers, skin infections and gastro-intestinal diseases affecting the residents of San Pedro. There is an underlying root cause of these health issues and the removal of all garbage would certainly improve the quality of life in San Pedro.
On the environmental side, research conducted over the last seven years has revealed evidence of continuous degradation of the marine environment. The garbage pollutes the air, water and land and subsequently harms human and marine life. This has placed our very livelihood at risk, jeopardizes the tourism and fishing industry and could ultimately result in the collapse of the island.
With the garbage separation plant becoming operational and the rainy season only weeks away, the VIP calls on the newly elected council to proactively address this issue by implementing a plan to immediately remove all garbage that is currently dumped on lots and streets before the rains resume. Please do not attempt to cover it up with Sargasso, sand or All-In fill as this is not the solution and only compounds the problem.
While the VIP team and volunteers have recently undertaken two garbage cleanup activities in the community, the massive accumulation in certain areas requires tractors and trucks to remove. We have also called on the Department of Environment for their assistance and technical expertise.
In closing we call on the community to take ownership of our island. Cleanliness begins at home. Let us keep our yards, streets and public places clean. Let us make every day an Earth Day!
April 22th 2015
In Service of our Community,
Robert A. Lopez
VIP San Pedro Chapter