Aruba is an island with more than 107,000 inhabitants, and according to data, tourism is also growing, which means more visitors. More visitors, of course, also mean more waste. When we talk about the role that each of us has to take responsibility for our own behavior, we must also consider that this applies to our visitors.
Recent allegations attempt to suggest that the Aruba government is using funds from the Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) for a government anti-pollution campaign. This is a dangerous assertion, as it is not based on facts and also tries to highlight the political agenda.
For those who attended the press conference and read the article, it is clear that there are discussions about two different campaigns. The ATA campaign is titled “Aruba Limpi,” an extension of their ongoing initiatives that now focus on areas frequented by tourists, along with “BanSerio! Aruba,” which will help with awareness.
The Minister of Nature, Mr. Ursell Arends, launched the national campaign “Limpi Limpi” on August 22, 2023. On August 17, it was announced that the campaign mentioned earlier in July was on its way. It is important to remember that at the beginning of the year, an awareness campaign was already underway to support the transition to the landfill’s closure. A campaign of this magnitude is not prepared in a week; “Limpi Limpi” is the result of thorough evaluation, data collection, and collaboration with various partners. The content of the campaign is not related to external factors or the agenda of other political organizations, nor to the Ministry of Nature. Therefore, comparisons to the moment of launching the “Limpi Limpi” campaign are irrelevant.
The Minister of Nature supports and promotes any project that benefits Aruba. If we want to keep Aruba clean and contribute to responsible waste management, there is no need to react negatively to these initiatives. It is also important to clarify that the Ministry of Transportation, Integrity, Nature, and Affairs of the Elderly did not request financial support from the ATA for the “Limpi Limpi” campaign at any time.
The fact is that Aruba is transitioning to more responsible waste management, and our visitors also need to be educated. The ATA is working on this. The suggestion that ATA funds are being reused is unfounded. Two different campaigns, two different productions, but with one goal: a clean Aruba!
Instead of playing politics to sow division, we should focus on what these campaigns will contribute to the Aruban community. The best use of our time is to share stories that emphasize the shared responsibility we all have in keeping Aruba clean. Aruba is a community of both residents and visitors, and everyone plays a vital role in preserving the environment we all share.
Minister Arends appreciates the ongoing support of the community and encourages open dialogue to address any concerns or misunderstandings regarding the national “Limpi Limpi” campaign. The commitment of the government of Aruba to promoting a pleasant living and visiting environment remains unwavering.