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Spring cleaning

By Cpl. Sébastien Pisani
First published in
SFOR Informer#112, May 3, 2001

Sipovo - There was an unusual activity in this Saturday morning. Like every week, the market attracted artisans and farmers of the surrounding areas. But behind the group of huts where people negotiated carpets, sheepskins and fresh eggs, a group of children were busy on the banks of the Pliva River.
Accompanied by two British soldiers of the battalion of support and logistics (CSS Bn), 1st General Support Regiment (Royal Logistic Corps), they were collecting garbage in big bins arranged near the road. A lorry of the public utilities company of Sipovo left for the rubbish tip, two kilometres from downtown. An SFOR vehicle parked near the children, who immediately begun loading it with remaining garbage.
The programme set up with the municipality, the schools and the local associations by the previous British battalion which left several weeks ago, took shape (see SFOR Informer edition 107). This cleaning day illustrated the support that SFOR wishes to bring to local projects. "We are deeply lacking assets. The battalion, which literally just arrived, acknowledges the list of actions which had been established," said Dragica Dakic, manager of the public utilities company of Sipovo.
In the playground of Nemanja Vlatkovic primary school, children abandoned their usual games for the complete cleaning of green areas and steps of the main stairs. "This day dedicated to the cleaning of the town is a very good idea. One of the first things we have to teach to the children is hygiene and neatness," said Mira Trivuncic, one of the schoolteachers. A little bit farther, SFOR soldiers took up one of the 20 points of collection in the town. "People see servicemen helping the community. I think this is a constructive event, even if it is not our primary mission," said Cpl. Sean Read. Nineteen British soldiers and two lorries were sent by the support and logistics battalion to take part in this spring cleaning day.
"There is a real will to improve here the life quality. SFOR participates within the limits of its available resources. It is essential that the local authorities get involved in this type of event," said 2nd Lt. Gill Neil, G5 liaison officer. Children have been the main players in this operation; one can now hope that the adults will follow the example of the youngest.

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Nations of SFOR: UK
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