The Community-based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme, CEPEP, is a national social mechanism aimed at empowering persons within our society who are faced with severe social and economic challenges. Throughout its seventeen (17) years of operations in Tobago, the programme has positively impacted lives in communities through the promotion of environmental projects which actively engages residents fostering vital partnerships. Our four hundred and seventy workers make an invaluable contribution to the thrust of keeping Tobago clean and green: as our natural environment remains one of our greatest assets to which the progress of our economy is inextricably linked. To this end the programme continues to fulfil its mandate by providing the following services throughout the island:
- Beautification and Landscaping Exercises – CEPEP continues to clean and enhance public green spaces daily. Additionally, the workers contribute to clean up efforts for festivals such as Carnival, the Tobago Heritage Festival, Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations. Overall, more than one hundred (100) public spaces and parks have benefitted from CEPEP’s operations
- Coastal Maintenance – CEPEP is instrumental in cleaning seventeen (17) of Tobago’s beaches.
- Bulk Waste Removal – Throughout the twelve (12) districts, more than five thousand (5000) van loads of bulk waste are carted off to the landfill site at Studley Park annually.
- Emergency Environmental Response – CEPEP teams assist other Divisions of the Tobago House of Assembly in the removal of debris and damaged infrastructure as a result environment disasters such as landslides, flooding and sargassum from the beaches.
- Senior Citizen’s Assistance Programme – CEPEP continues to enhance the livelihood of the elderly and the differently abled by assisting in the maintenance and beautification of their properties. Approximately eighty-five (85) senior citizens have benefited from our Senior Citizens Assistance Programme.
- Composting and Agricultural Projects – Through partnerships with public institutions and community groups CEPEP teams have established compositing and agricultural projects within communities.
- Environmental Campaigns – CEPEP utilizes all public fora to promote the importance of environmental sustainability and protection. These initiatives included:
- Community clean-up drives
- International Earth Day
CEPEP while providing a vital source of income for single parents, housewives, rehabilitated drug users and ex-convicts has focused on unleashing the creative and productive capacity of its workforce through human capital development. Employees of the programme are continuously afforded training and retraining opportunities towards the goal of empowering them to become self-sufficient. Training has been offered through the Vocational Skills Training Programme and Agro-based Capacity Building Training Programme. Approximately four hundred and fifty persons (450) have accessed these training courses. The areas of skills training included Agro-processing (fish processing, honey production, cassava farine production), Horticultural practices (plant propagation, nursery management) Garment Construction, Nail Technology, Cake Baking, and Bread, Cakes and Pastries.
Its strategic realignment to the Division of Community Development, Enterprise Development and Labour has also provided opportunities and supported the involvement in entrepreneurial activities as CEPEP employees have participated in the Market Experience caravans and the recently concluded World Food Day Exhibition. The programme is currently preparing for its 2019 instalment of the Twelve Joys of Christmas project where the workers in turn perform acts of kindness.
The Community-based Environmental and Protection and Enhancement Programme remains committed to improvement of its workers and the wider Tobago.