A cleanup campaign began shortly before 7:00 a.m. that morning with the cutting of tall grasses and garbage collection in the area.
A sign which reads ‘AREA ADOPTED BY POND’S EXTENSION COMMUNITY’ was thereafter erected.
The cleanup crew was made up of adults and school-aged children, and their breakfast comprised eats such as johnny cakes, banana pancakes, stewed saltfish and bush tea.
Liburd informed the media that the residents had expressed their concerns over the high bushes which could pose a safety threat.
“On a walk here couples days ago, the residents of the area were complaining about the environment in terms of the aesthetics…the safety, because it had some high bush as you can see and people can hide out in the high bush.“Apart from that, aesthetically, it was just looking bad; so we decided to just get the residents from New Pond Site Extension to really cleanup the area and adopt the area. So we’ll not only clean it first, we will maintain it as well.”
He declared that the children’s play area would be revived for the youngsters to have recreational fun.
“There is the children play area that we are going to upgrade and put it back into commission for the young children.”
Liburd highlighted his take on community togetherness in making positive contributions.
“I believe that we just can’t depend on people! It’s the residents’ community, so we just want the residents to take ownership of it. So we just decided to come out and clean it up and ensure that we have it clean.”
Liburd shared that they are looking at another area in the community and that the adopted space is just the first of more to come.
“This is just the first in several different areas within East Basseterre that we want to clean, because if you really walk around East Basseterre it’s really sad to see the environment is just gone to the dogs…to use the colloquial term here. I mean, you see all garbage all around, you see high bush, so we want to look at other areas. As a matter of fact, we have already highlighted areas which we are going to move to next and try to adopt the areas and keep them clean. We don’t have to depend on nobody…the community is going to depend on itself to clean the areas.”
Liburd said he was born, raised and still lives in Newtown and so he has a vested interest in his community.
“I’m a son of Newtown and so I have a particular interest in ensuring that the area is clean; ensuring that we are successful. We’ve been successful in sports and we’ve been successful in different areas, and it’s about time we take care of awe own backyard and front room as well and keep it clean. The whole emphasis is keeping the community safe and clean.”
Liburd introduced the media to another Newtown resident, Randy ‘Africa’ James, who has been working within the area in terms of the environment and greenery.
“If you realise, we don’t have a lot of green space in St. Kitts period, much less Basseterre. So we really want to make sure our green spaces, our open spaces are kept in a good sight,” he added.
James talked about projects he has been spearheading, including the planting of Meringa trees along the Frigate Bay Road, which is part of a “big environmental effort”.
“The cleanup started at the epicenter of Newtown, which we call George Street. We noticed that just to the east of Jay’s Shop and Save it’s private land, but I cleaned that already and I intend to extend out. This area is a part of it and this is somewhat more important because of the children. As kids growing up, we played soccer in the streets. Today, the streets have so much vehicular traffic, it is dangerous. We want the kids to direct their energies in different areas, safe areas just like this field which ran away. As you can see, there are some structures that the kids used to swing on and so forth, we want to bring back that or create a green space.”
James also disclosed that there are plans are afoot for a tree-planting exercise in the adopted space.
And in an effort to make James’ task easy, Liburd presented him with a new weed eater during the community cleanup project.