The Gros-Islet City Council handed out awards to four groups that submitted projects for the Best Community Project/ Pli Belle KominKonpetisyon competition on Thursday, September 17.
Mayor of Gros-Islet Alison King who delivered the feature address congratulated the winners of the competition and encouraged them to continue to promote safe and clean environment in their respective communities.
King said that the competition was launched in commemoration of Earth Day 2015 and was aimed at getting communities involved in making their living spaces cleaner and more resilient to natural hazards.
Community groups from across the entire constituency of Gros -Islet were targeted.
“While the council shares responsibility with central government for maintaining public spaces within our communities, we sought through this initiative, to encourage communities to take a greater interest in and responsibility for community spaces, and to improve their aesthetics, utility, safety and/or performance, in support of the council’s own work,” King said.
But more than that, King said the competition has the potential to provide the council with a keener insight into community priorities as perceived by communities themselves, and to identify and support community-driven projects that may be eligible for third party funding.
The competition looked at several initiatives which include: clean up and upgrade schools, community spaces and facilities; cultivate flowers or other crops on a communal basis; stabilize slopes and improve community drainage; improve waste management; improve community safety; and to improve historical buildings and other sites of cultural or historical interest, whether publicly or privately owned.
Proposed categories for prizes were: most improved space (greening), most improved building, most improved school, most sustainable project, greatest improvement in public health and safety, greatest community participation and greatest youth participation, among several others.
The competition ran for 4 months. Despite making the competition criteria as wide, the Gros-Islet City Council only received 4 submissions. King admitted to some level of disappointment with the amount of interest shown, particularly from communities beyond the town of Gros-Islet.
However, she said this could be attributed to low levels of participation in CBO and NGO movements within the constituency of Gros Islet, difficulty accessing land to implement some of the ideas developed by communities, limited resources and the timing of the competition at the end of the school year, and into the school holiday period.
“Hopefully, the successes of today will stimulate more community interest and participation in future competitions. Although the number of submissions we got was low, we have to follow this observation quickly by noting that the quality of projects submitted, was without exception, very high, and demonstrate what it is possible to achieve when communities come together to achieve a common goal,” King added.
The competition received financial and material support from: the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association, LUCELEC, Taj Weekes, Dannion CE, the Department of Forestry, Rayneau Construction and Industrial Products, Ace Hardware, Carasco and Son, and Amarna Consult Ltd.
The council said it hopes the competition will become a regular feature of the town’s calendar of events.
By SNO (Click Here for source)