#cleanupHaiti2024 once again was the first segment of the J & P Show this past Sunday as co-hosts Philippe Montas, author of this blog and Jimmy Moise, CEO of Le P’ti Club, inc. of Miramar, explained the idea behind the hashtag. #cleanupHaiti2024 is not a project by a person which is added to the many other endeavors attempted before. And it certainly is not my personal crusade to fade after my energy level diminishes. It is an idea that needs to be owned by everyone who cares about the health and appearance of Haiti. Listening to the morning news roundup this morning on Zenith FM, once again I heard a reporter talk about piles of garbage around Delmas 31, the smell was overpowering. Another reporter in Carrefour Feuilles said that a huge pile of trash blocked the sidewalk and threatened to block the street.
Pedestrians are really affected by all the garbage, animal and human excrement, and the various other obstacles hindering their movement. If you travel on foot in Port-au-Prince you have to negotiate a path carefully to avoid being as dirty as the street you’re traveling on. Between the trash, the mud and standing water with floating trash, and the cars that will splash you if you’re not watching, walking around is an ordeal. As The J & P Show highlighted on its last broadcast, the problem is getting worse day by day, with our historical sights soiled and used as garbage dumps. Our health is affected because the air carries particles from the mounds of trash which get into our lungs with each breath, and under our fingernails, which become dirty at the end of the day. Something must be done about this situation before it’s too late, and our environment becomes polluted forever.
#cleanupHaiti2024. An idea that needs to become viral wherever Haitians live. Like I said before it is not a project, but a starting point; an idea that will fuel many projects by many different groups all over the world. Anyone can take the idea, let’s clean our home, so that by 2024 it does not look soiled and dirty. The idea needs to be owned by everyone in every neighborhood, small town and eventually all over the republic. Recently, I spoke to a comrade who has similar concerns about how Haitians are living. Ashley Toussaint is working with a group that is doing a clean up job in Little Haiti before the annual May 18th celebration of Haiti’s flag. Toussaint and his comrades are cleaning up areas of Little Haiti that are notoriously dirty and used by some as dumping ground. They want the neighborhood to be clean and show a proud face for flag day. This should become an effort done all year round, or perhaps 3 or 4 times a year to maintain our face, as it is said.
We need to instill the need to have a clean environment everywhere we live, and especially in our home. #cleanupHaiti2024 is the idea that will serve as fuel for all groups that want to help keep our environment clean. I want to urge all who want to participate in getting Haiti and everywhere we live beautiful again to begin talking with friends, and those in your network to see what can be done. Like the internet, each project will work on its own, with its own members dedicated to help within their capacity and willingness. We should all look toward January 2024 as date that is key. Let’s hope that by then we have accomplished enough to make the country attractive enough to invite persons to come with no shame about how we look, smell and operate, cleanly like people should be.
#cleanupHaiti2024 sounds unattainable to some if we just look at obstacles to this idea becoming a reality. Insecurity is one of the main things detractors have mentioned. My good friend Alix said he would need a war helmet, a good bulletproof vest and protection to go clean up in Haiti these days. Of course to implement the idea you will have to start in areas that are not dangerous, with persons living there. The Grande Anse would be the best place to start. Abricots, Dame Marie and small towns in the department could be the starting point. Using young people who live there we can begin to spread the pride and sense of belonging that used to be there before. We will have to provide them tools and resources to begin on a small scale, cleaning streets and squares where people gather, and identifying an area to be used to begin a form of recycling. This is where experts from the diaspora could provide help in providing a plan for garbage disposal that will include making compost, recycling rubber and plastic along with proper handling of toxic waste like car batteries, cell phones and other stuff that pollute the environment. The compost will be used to help agriculture and money will be made selling it along with what will be made from recycling. All this can become reality, by starting to spread the idea we will bring it to fruition.
Let’s begin by making #cleanupHaiti2024 become a viral message all over the world, so everyone please share it, share this simple message: