Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 17, 2019 (SKNIS): The Third High-level Forum of Caribbean Ministers responsible for Waste Management provides stakeholders with several opportunities to develop solutions to seriously tackle waste management in the region.
Waste management entails the activities and actions required to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal. This includes the collection, transportation, disposal or recycling and monitoring of waste. The term usually relates to materials produced by human activity, and the process is generally undertaken to reduce its adverse effect over human health and environment.
The Honourable Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Health et.al in St. Kitts and Nevis, spoke to the challenges faced by Small Island Developing States of the Caribbean during his presentation on Wednesday, October 16 at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, noting that the forum is important to plan the way forward.
“This high-level forum gives us an opportunity to really discuss and present outcomes… It gives us an opportunity to delve into and produce outcomes that can reduce the risk of the challenge of waste in our region,” said Minister Hamilton. “As a region, we have an opportunity not just to talk about these challenges, but we have an opportunity, perhaps an obligation, to plan and execute policies and programmes, projects and systems to ensure that this region can deal with our waste issues in a timely manner.”
He explained that the challenges faced with respect to water and wastewater cannot be tackled entirely by governments of the region.
“It is essential that there is a role for the region’s private sector and strong and tactical alliance with key associations and organizations including [but not limited to] the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, manufacturing associations, hotel and tourism associations…” said Minister Hamilton. “It cannot be done by governments alone. That therefore suggests that we cannot approach dealing with waste like any other serious challenge with a top-down approach, but a bottom-up approach to resolving, to finding solutions of how to deal with waste.”
Minister Hamilton said that cooperation is needed at all levels.
“I implore all of us to be single-minded in our quest for a solution, but to be pragmatic and inclusive in the implementation of policies and actions and any plans that come out of this forum,” he added.
The forum formed part of the 28th Annual Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) Conference and Exhibition currently taking place in St. Kitts and Nevis from October 14-17, 2019.
The Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) is a regional non-governmental organization established by an Act of Parliament in Trinidad & Tobago in 1991. The CWWA is a grouping of water, wastewater and solid waste professionals in the public and private sectors. CWWA brings together the water and sanitation community in the Caribbean towards the protection of public health and the promotion of sustainable development. Through collective leadership, CWWA positively influences advancements in technology, education, science, management, and country and regional policies in the water and sanitation field.