The University of the West Indies is the first tertiary level organization to participate in the Adopt a River Programme. Dr. Beckles, Department of Chemistry, after attending a community meeting where residents identified the landfill as a major cause of concern in the Guanapo Community, formulated a proposal to look at the impact of emissions from the Guanapo Landfill on the surrounding environment.
The project has been ongoing for the past year and has successfully completed 6 sampling exercises along the Guanapo River, including samplings during a pollution event where raw leachate from the landfill was entering the river. They have also been assessing the movement of water within the watershed, especially in the close vicinity of the landfill, to establish flow rates and pollution intensities.
An integral aspect of this project is community involvement. They have been working with the community for this project and have held two community meetings to report on their work so far. The community has given valuable feedback and soon, the project hopes to begin to look at the health impacts of the landfill on the residents in the area. This is especially important in the dry season when the landfill burns and hence, may release air-borne contaminants.