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Bmobile and volunteers clean up Tobago beaches

Published: 
Thursday, September 21, 2017

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, scores of volunteers swarmed the quiet beach of Sandy Point at the very tip of Tobago’s South Western Coast. From rambunctious pre-schoolers to elderly grandparents, volunteers came from various organisations across the island with the common goal of restoring the beauty of the island’s coastlines as part of the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC).

ICC is an annual coast-wide day of action, dedicated to cleaning up litter both on the shores and in surrounding areas. A release said the activities are aimed at restoring the native habitat while building a sense of community and camaraderie among volunteers. Sponsored by bmobile for the past eight years, the cleanup activities in Tobago commenced on September 16 at six different locations, from Courland Bay on the Caribbean Sea to Prince’s Bay on the Atlantic coast, and continued until September 17.

“Cleaning the coast means that we can help save the marine life, protect the reef and preserve our future,” said Onica Blackman, Enterprise Marketing and Communications Manager, TSTT, Tobago Operations. “In Trinidad and Tobago we depend on so much that comes from the ocean, and we benefit immensely from maintaining a reciprocal relationship with the sea.”

Sunday’s cleanup at Sandy Point was well attended by volunteers from bmobile’s staff and their families who took the opportunity to not only contribute to the clean and green environment of Tobago, but also to instil in their children a sense of pride in their surroundings and responsibility to the environment.

“It is so important that our staff bring along their families so that they can see not just the work we do in our professional capacity, but also can partake in our company’s efforts to give back to the environment,” Blackman further stated. Ten-year-old Jamarni was one of the many children excited to help their parents clean up Sandy Point beach on Sunday. His mother, Lisette Brooks, is a Brand Ambassador for TSTT who spoke of her love for her island and appreciation for the environment - values she hopes to pass down to young Jamarni.

“I genuinely love the island of Tobago, and I am a strong advocate for cleanliness and preservation of our natural environment,” Brooks stated. “Also, it’s a good experience to have with my son that can help teach him to love and nurture the island.”

In T&T, the ICC is coordinated by the Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development (CNIRD), with the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment, Tobago House of Assembly (THA) leading the exercise in Tobago.

Howard Robin, Environmental Officer in the Division and site supervisor for Sandy Point, commented on the excellent turnout of organisations collaborating with the THA and bmobile to ensure another year of successful cleanup activities. “We have many different organisations participating this year, which indicates that they understand the responsibility we all have toward the upkeep and the benefit of the environment.”

In addition to employees from bmobile, volunteers from T&TEC, Pentecostal Light and Life High School and Republic Bank spent the morning thoroughly cleaning Sandy Point beach.