I am Dominica, are you? This is the latest drive by Tourism officials to sow the seeds of what I would deem ownership of country in its citizens. I have begun to wonder, however, whether we have started to drive home the idea of ownership of country too late. One may argue that it is never too late to do anything, but in this case, a change of culture as it relates to our notion of citizenship is going to be met with much resistance and often, not through sheer malice but rather as a result of ignorance. The success of the “I am Dominica” drive can only be realized through education, collaboration, and sustained effort.
I am often at a loss when I see citizens involved in the indiscriminate dumping of trash. Every sector of our island, with no restriction to age, sex or beliefs must be ready to fight against the ills of littering and take ownership of this beautiful island.
This takes me to the point of collaboration. It is evident that some individuals have recognized the situation and a number of businesses and institutions have endorsed the Dominica Solid Waste Management Corporation’s effort to keep the environment clean by erecting receptacles for the disposal of litter around the city, i.e. the “adopt a block” campaign, which the Discover Dominica Authority has championed. We all have to join the effort and play our part by teaching responsibility for country. We can do this by leading through example whether it is at home, in our neighbourhood, at schools, etc. Let us all begin to dispose of our refuse in the proper way. It is only through the effort of every individual that this campaign can be successful.
Finally, this effort has to be sustained. Ensuring that Dominica is attractive, clean and inviting for nationals, as well as the tourists and potential investors we want to attract will require sustained effort. If we each begin to accept responsibility for the good and bad that is Dominica, then maybe, just maybe, every individual will begin to work towards the goal of keeping Dominica clean.
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