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Posted: Thursday 4 July, 2024 at 2:40 PM

Department of Cooperatives in St. Kitts organises beach clean-up in Sandy Point

Staff of the Department of Cooperatives and the Ministry Small Business and Entrepreneurship, who were joined by members of local cooperative societies, pose for a picture showing part of what they collected from the beach
By: Peter Ngunjiri, Press Release

    BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, July 4, 2024 (MMS-SKN) -- In a lead-up to the International Day of Cooperatives, which will be observed on Saturday July 6 under the theme ‘Cooperatives Building a Better Future for All’, the Department of Cooperatives in St. Kitts has been observing a week of activities.


    The activities kicked off on Thursday June 27, with members of the various cooperatives displaying their businesses and products at the Agro Strip on Pond Site in East Basseterre.


    With the Department of Cooperatives now falling under the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the week of activities continued on Wednesday morning, July 3, with Permanent Secretary, Ms Delrine Taylor, leading staff and members of cooperative societies on a beach clean-up exercise at Pump Bay, Fig Tree, Sandy Point.


    “Today’s beach clean-up, in Sandy Point, was a wonderful initiative as it highlighted the importance of environment stewardship and community collaboration,” said PS Taylor. “It was especially significant because Sandy Point is the home of one of our cooperatives, Sandy Point Agricultural Cooperative Society (SPACS), which is an esteemed agricultural cooperative society. This event not only keeps the beach clean, but it also fosters a sense of unity and responsibility among the community members.”


    Staff of the Department of Cooperatives, and staff from the Ministry Small Business and Entrepreneurship, teamed up with members of the Sandy Point Fishermen Marketing and Supply Cooperative Society outside Rum Dawg Beach Bar and Grill at 7:30 a.m. where the Registrar of Cooperatives, Mrs Earla Clarke-Allen, led them in a moment of prayer before they embarked on their all-important mission to clean up the Pump Bay Beach.


    As a direct effect of the passage of Hurricane Beryl in the region, the sea was very rough and debris including plastics, clothing and planks of wood kept on washing up. The beach cleaners would get into the water to retrieve them, and put them in black plastic bags.


    The clean-up activity came to an end at 9:00 a.m., and the participants were served breakfast at the Rum Dawg Beach Bar and Grill, and later drinks at the Link Up Bar.


    Joining PS Taylor from her ministry included Assistant Secretary, Ms Leah Crag-Chaderton, Senior Business Advisors, Mrs Kyla Gibson-Dore, and Mr Delwayne Delaney. President of the Sandy Point Fishermen Marketing and Supply Cooperative, Mr Ralph Wilkins, was accompanied by among others, the Vice President Mr Kyle Jones, Secretary Mrs Sandy Wilkin-Francis, and member Mr Rex Newton.


    The team had been joined very early by a member of the St. Kitts Agro Processors Cooperative Society, 65-year old Ms Roberta Rawlins from Tabernacle Village, and later by President of the Old Road-based Gideon Force Organic Agricultural Cooperative Society, Ras Sankofa Maccabbee.


    “This (beach clean-up) does not just benefit the Department of Cooperatives, as you also have an environmental impact,” noted Permanent Secretary Ms Delrine Taylor. “You have the tourism aspect as you are aware that the Sandy Point’s Pump Bay has now been named a significant strip on the island of St. Kitts and that is a plan to raise the tourism product of St. Kitts and Nevis.”


    She pointed out that cleanliness is the sustainability of that area and not just the beach area which is significantly important, but it will not only benefit multiple sectors, among them the cooperatives in the area, but also the small businesses that have their establishments in the area.


    “We just have had some rough waters as a result of the passage of Hurricane Beryl, and lots of debris and plastic came on the shores and we were able to clean those so they do not go back into the ocean and create any disaster for our marine life,” concluded PS Ms Delrine Taylor.


    Mr Ralph Wilkins, President of the Sandy Point Fishermen Marketing and Supply Cooperative Society, thanked the team that helped in the beach clean-up, and notably the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and the Department of Cooperatives.


    “By cleaning the beach, fishermen would have more access to the sea,” said Mr Wilkins. “Even though we have one net boat around here, cleaning the beach is still good for them. It is the only beach around here now, so most people come here to bathe, so we have to keep the beach clean. So we just want to say thank you for coming and assisting us.”


    Speaking on behalf of other business establishments at Pump Bay, owner of Rum Dawg Beach Bar and Grill, Mr Bruce Cannonier, said that the clean-up was something that was well-needed.


    “You have to keep the environment clean because you know we are doing business here,” stated Mr Cannonier. “It is only fair to keep the business clean when the patrons come and apart from that you keep the coastline clean. So it is a good effort and I commend it highly. I hope it will happen again, not just once, and also I appreciate it very much.”






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