Patrique Lamour, Correspondent of Radio Ibo in the Northeast, Haiti
A campaign called “Clean up Trou‑du‑Nord” took place from October 20th to 22nd in this town in the Northeast of Haiti.
This activity, which was financed by PLAN International, a non‑governmental organization, and the local private sector, mobilized nearly 10,000 people, including a number of teachers, students, children, adults, clergy and business men, organized in various neighbourhood committees.
To facilitate this work, which was organized in the scope of the “Clean up the World” campaign, started in Australia in 1989, equipment was distributed by a specially formed committee.
A hot meal was served to each person involved in this operation in each of the participating neighbourhoods, for the three‑day duration of the project.
Some youth who were interviewed about the operation, thought that the funds used for this project could have been used infrastructural work in the town.
“Whatever they say, the Clean‑up has happened and it was a success,” Neker Eustache declared, president of the campaign.
“This activity is of the highest importance. The initiative is very commendable, the idea is good in terms of the close relation between health and the environment,” Wilfred Pierre Noel said, Director of the Hospital of Trou‑du‑Nord and adviser to the organizing committee.
“Environmental concerns are not limited to water, air, trees, and green spaces, but also includes our immediate surroundings, our neighbourhoods, our houses,” he added.
According to Richemond Luckny, President of the neighbourhood committee, “Tout Moun Jwenn” (There’s enough for all), the activity did run well.
“We have done a very good job during these three days. You see that now the air is better here. How can we block people from coming back and dropping their garbage or from even going to the bathroom in the streets? I think that the follow up to this project is even more important. We hope that the mayor and the cleaning committee will keep their promise so this job will be sustained.”
The mayor of the town, Luccio Seraphin, also expressed his satisfaction with the activities. He realized that cleaning the town is not the business of the mayor’s office only. To avoid this state of filth, garbage bins would be placed in designated sites. The mayor’s office and the cleaning committee are committed to insure the transportation of the garbage to a designated disposal site.
At present however, PLAN International and the cleaning committee are exploring the possibility for maintaining in a sustainable fashion a clean and healthy environment in the community.
The garbage will be sorted out, treated for composting by responsible and experienced agents, then put in bags to sell at a low price to farmers in the area who will use the waste to fertilize their land. Also, some activities will be done with children, for the treatment of the garbage and its recycling. In the end there will be an appropriate system to pick up the garbage.
PLAN International also supports cleaning campaigns in other zones where it works: Jacmel, Fort Liberte, and Ouanaminthe.
Trou‑du‑Nord is a large town in the Northeast department. It is located on the dividing line between the Northern and the Northeastern departments. Its population is estimated at approximately 62,000 habitants.