The St. Kitts and Nevis “STOP THE POPS” Campaign, which ran for 10 weeks from October to December 2021, was part of a Caribbean-wide initiative to sensitize the various local publics on the sources or causes, harmful effects, and mitigation strategies that can be used to address POPS, which are persistent organic pollutants. The campaign was sponsored by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and coordinated regionally, by the Basil Convention Regional Centre (BCRC), which is headquartered in Trinidad. Local Co-sponsors of the Project were SEN Consulting and the TDC Group of Companies.  The local Government Affiliate was the St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards, the SKNBS, represented by Dr. Marcus Natta. The Program was coordinated locally by Noah G. Mills, Managing Director and Owner of SEN Consulting. Other Government partners were the Ministries of Tourism, Environment, and Agriculture, Joseph N. France General Hospital, plus the St. Kitts and Nevis Quarry. 

The local leg of the regional Campaign started with a Radio Tour on all six Radio Stations across St. Kitts and Nevis. Radio Interviews were hosted by Noah Mills, and saw panellists include Dr. Marcus Natta, Science and Research Manager at the St. Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards, Mr. Edward Claxton, Agriculturist at TDC, Ms. Jamella Christopher, Senior Executive at the Joseph N. France General Hospital, Mr. Jermaine “Sacky” Lake, General Manager at the St. Kitts and Nevis Quarry, who is also the immediate-past Assistant Director at the Ministry of Health, and Mr. Randy Elliot, Director of Agriculture on Nevis.

Multiple Social Media platforms were also used including WhatsApp, SMS, and Facebook, to disseminate pertinent information to all demographic and psychographic clusters across St. Kitts and Nevis. The ‘Stop the POPS’ Campaign also saw the local organizing team partner with the Ministry of Tourism by joining said Ministry’s Island-Wide -Motorcade, to further promote the need to save our plants, animals, environment, and the planet at large.

The final leg of the local Campaign involved a 2-stage, Poetry and Spoken Word Competition targeting both Primary and Secondary Schools on St Kitts and Nevis. Twenty students submitted entries from the Primary Schools and seven from Secondary Schools. The four Kittitian, Public, Primary Schools that participated include Bronte Welsh, Edgar T. Morris, Sandy Point, and Joshua Obadiah, plus one Private, Primary School, namely, the Maude Cross Preparatory School. Four Public, Secondary Schools on St. Kitts participated including, the Basseterre, Verchilds, Cayon, and Charles E. Mills institutions.  The submissions from both categories were then shortlisted to select five Finalists for each level. At the Secondary School tier, each School was represented, with two Finalists hailing from the Charles E. Mills, and one each from Cayon, Basseterre, and Verchilds High Schools. At the primary School level, two Finalists came from Joshua Obadiah, and one each from the Sandy Point, George Moody, and Maude Cross Preparatory Schools.

Five independent judges adjudicated the Competition at each of the two stages, with two Judges from Stage 1, moving on to judge Stage 2. Ms. Samantha Boone, Ms. Jihan Williams, Mr. Dion French, Dr. Marcus Natta, and Ms. Laura Teixeira who works at the BCRC in Trinidad, judged the first Round.  The second Round was assessed by Ms. Samantha Boone, Ms. Jihan Williams, Mr. Clement “Monarch” O’Garro, Mr. Loughlin Tatem, and Ms. Sharon Rattan, who is the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment. The judging panel was quite diverse, suitably-educated, and experienced.  For example, the panel included a past National Carnival Queen, Lawyer, trained Dancer, Poets, Authors, and Playwrights, an Internationally-acclaimed Soca and Calypso Artiste, and an expert in the field of environmental protection, preservation, and conservation.

The results reported for the Poetry and Spoken Word Competition are as follows:

Primary School Level:

1st Place:           Amira Claxton from the George Moody Stuart Primary School with 405 points

2nd Place:           Zhone Underwood from the Maude Cross Preparatory School with 385 points.

3rd Place:           Denyjah Mathew from the Sandy Point School with 325 points

The Runners Up were Sherika McKayle and Zakiya Bergan both from the Joshua Obadiah Primary School.

Group Photo with all Finalists from the Primary School Level

Secondary School Level:

1st Place:           Jahnaya Hobson from the Basseterre High School with 455 points

2nd Place:           Kilan Burnham from the Verchilds High School with 379 points.

3rd Place:           Jahashte Rogers from the Charles E. Mills Secondary School with 235 points.

The Runners Up were Jaidyme Benjamin from the Charles E. Mills Secondary School and Blessing Alawode from Cayon High School.

Group Photo with performing Finalists from the Secondary School Level

The sponsors, regional and local donors, as well as, organizers, use this platform to thank all participants, contributors and stakeholders for their involvement in what was deemed a successful Project. We do hope that the message continues to reverberate throughout our regional societies, leading to positive attitudinal and behavioural change, as we strive to STOP THE POPS.