|Pirates of the Carribean - Exploring an underwater wreck|
during deep-water dives in the tourist mecca that is Barbados
It’s difficult to get worked up about crime in a place like Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados. Surrounded by lush beaches, palm trees and bathed in tropical sun, most visitors to the Island are unaware of the recent surge in gun crime or fears about drugs. To be clear, Barbados does have among the lowest crime rates of all the nearby Caribbean Islands, isolated somewhat from the political unrest in nearby Venezuela and blessed with competent police services.
|The wharf in downtown Bridgetown|
Bridgetown and the surrounding areas seem remarkably free of litter, garbage and graffiti. True, there are some spots, here and there. And graffiti pops up now and then. But overall, the streets (and the beaches, for that matter), are remarkably clean.
|Litter containers, graffiti-less walls|
|Bustling streets and downtown shopping|
It wasn’t always this way in Bridgetown. Graffiti was rampant and litter and illegal dumping were of major concern. Newspaper editorials carped about the problem and tourism experts warned about its impact.
Anti-litter and clean-up campaigns and community-led groups like the Barbados Guardians have effectively cut litter significantly. Anti-graffiti programs in schools have brought a new public discourse to the issue.
|Serpentine streets in Bridgetown|
That is, of course, the basic message of SafeGrowth. Bridgetown shows how that is possible with graffiti and litter control.