Awareness, fines to clean up city

Letters, Normal

I AGREE with the comments by Celine Ilias in her letter “Erima buai market an eyesore” (The National, Oct 18).
Before hosting the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, major Chinese cities are “just as clean” as Port Moresby.
I have never been to the rural areas, so I would not comment on that.
The Chinese people would just spit wherever and whenever they feel like it.
The same goes with discarding used plastic bags. You can see them everywhere.
At least in PNG, we can see red betelnut spittle and we can avoid that.
But in China, you cannot see that and it was stressful walking along the streets, roads and even on the staircase of big hotels.
However, the Chinese government went on a major campaign and awareness drive to clean up its image before the Olympics, warning about the dangers of spitting.
Of course, the SARS outbreak and bird-flu scare also played an important part in getting the message across, especially with air-borne and water-borne diseases.
The PNG government and in particular, the NCDC, could also conduct such a campaign.
Awareness can change the people’s attitude and mentality.
In hindsight, the NCDC may have perhaps missed its best opportunity to convey the message of the danger spitting and littering can cause during the recent cholera outbreak.
People tend to learn faster and change their attitude when they see with their own eyes how their family members, relatives or friends suffer because of their “couldn’t-care-less” attitude such as spitting and discarding rubbish with a second thought.
On the other hand, Singapore is clean because the government imposes stiff fines on littering.
Perhaps we can do that too.


Port Moresby