Creatures of Habit

By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant
By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant

LAST Sunday we were treated to the lively atmosphere and rich celebration which heralded the 32nd JounenKwéyòl (Creole Day) festivities at various host communities throughout the island.

From the preliminary assessments of the Folk Research Centre, it was hailed a success, and with plenty reasons to justify such a perspective. From the attractive colours of the Madras and African prints, to a cornucopia of traditional food items and spicy concoctions. A memorable day, and a welcome reminder of key parts of our precious cultural identity. That sentiment was expressed by our well-known cultural activist, George ‘Fish’ Alphonse, who remarked that the festival was conceptualised to sensitise the public on the culture, and that the primary objective was education. These noteworthy and noble ambitions will eventually be realised if we continue to develop the festival and to conduct “post mortems” to correct past mistakes.

After revelling in one of the communities that night, and visiting another one afterward, there was a particular observation which caused me some consternation, which was the inadequate attention given to waste management. The sheer volume of discarded bottles, plastic utensils and food containers was noticeable, and littered the fields, causing an unwelcome eyesore. In fact, the filthy grounds caused by poor waste management should never be allowed to be associated with any nationally significant event. With many waste bins overflowing, and no continual system to collect the dropped litter, patrons became accustomed to seeing and dropping litter on the ground. When considering the disgusting behaviour of fly-tippers, and the casual manner in which others indiscriminately drop litter, every effort should be taken to eliminate the sight of litter from our planned events. You may have noticed a similar sight during the carnival celebrations earlier this year, where bands were proceeding through litter left by earlier revellers. We could do better to change our habits!

The concept of waste disposal is well established within ICT, for the correct handling of packaging materials, and for the controlled disposal of e-waste. Even the software running on modern computer systems may use a feature called “garbage collection” to free-up the memory consumed as the programme runs. Without that useful feature, programmers would have a more difficult task. Long-running programmes could also slow down the computer system as they slowly run out of memory, forcing a restart to reclaim these system resources.

The committee undertaking a review of the JounenKwéyòl celebrations should consider a process for continually clearing litter and for emptying garbage bins. That change would help the public to associate a tidy environment with our cultural celebrations, and to stop littering. Even if a hardcore minority might still cause litter, it would demonstrate that we are serious about cultural success, and improving health and safety. Looking forward to the next planned event!

To share your views, contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The Voice.
About the Author
Dr.Lyndell St. Ville is an ICT Consultant based in Saint Lucia. His expertise includes systems analysis, design and risk analysis.

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