One of the major problems that’s visible around Port Moresby is the litter. Papua New Guineans have very little concern about the environment and how their actions can impact the current and future generation. So what is the solution?
We’ve seen the city authority place bins here and there and quite frankly nothing much has changed.
Even the dedicated cleaners that get out in the early hours of the morning to sweep the streets before motorists start making their way to work has a short term effect. A short term effect of just a couple of hours. And then it’s back to normal.
The problem isn’t just betelnut. It is littering in general which raises the question – do Papua New Guineans really care about cleanliness.
If you’re on the road, there’s a great chance that you’ll see an adult or even a child throwing a pack of Twisties or a drink can out the vehicle window.
Something must be done immediately to ensure that people understand why littering is wrong and should not be done. But how?
It’s good to have public awareness every now and then but it seems the awareness dies out and has very limited effect – if any.
One solution to this problem that we’ve been thinking about is to include littering as a subject in early childhood and primary education levels. Children must be taught not only to not litter but to also understand why they should not litter.
It’s not a short term solution of course but the sooner people understand what is right and what is wrong and the reasons behind them, Papua New Guineans can have a new generation of citizens that pay closer attention to their environment and behave in such a way as to preserve the environment.
You know, we’ve seen exorbitant contracts handed out to private entities to beautify the city. That beautification can only be realised if the general populace also has a basic understanding of litter and conduct themselves accordingly.
The city authority in partnership with the education sector must start focussing on a long term solution – changing the mindset of Papua New Guineans.
Port Moresby is a beautiful place. Keep it clean!