Betel nuts ban will result in change for the better

Letters, Normal

The National, Tuesday October 15th, 2013

 ERAGAIRMAYAL’s  opinion on Oct 1 is welcomed. 

But everyone must understand that when we refer to betel nuts sellers in NCD, we are not referring to the four regions of PNG. 

To be specific, these sellers are mainly from certain regions, and if the ban comes into effect, it will be they who are affected as they rely entirely on betel nuts sale as their only source of income. 

But why is it that people from these regions are always engaged in the betel nuts trade in NCD while others are not? 

Why are others not migrating to cities even though there is lack of government services all over PNG? 

These are the questions which need to be answered before drawing the conclusion that the lack of government services is the main driving force behind the current urban drift.

There could be other contributing factors such as tribal fights and the fast money-making opportunities in the city. 

In reality, it seems that people from certain regions are only migrating into cities knowing that they can survive on informal market businesses  and selling betel nuts, which are the fastest and easiest way of generating income in Port Moresby . 

This is a primitive way of thinking. Only the lazy  will continue to capitalise on such simple, fast ways then become aggressive and defensive when someone points out their weaknesses or wrongdoings. 

This is the kind of mentality which is partly impeding government services from reaching rural areas, and yet we are forever blaming our government’s inefficiency. 

We must not judge problems from where we are, but judge from where the problems are. 

Then, we will be able to understand the real driving factors of all these problems and come up with lasting solutions that will benefit us and our country in the long run. 

The betel nuts ban enforced by NCDC today is the way forward to keep the city clean while also aiming to control the unnecessary flow of people into the city. 

I come from a region where betel nuts are grown in big orchards, but people are not using it as a main source of income. They still manage to survive through subsistence farming and agricultural activities, despite the lack of government services. 

They make use of whatever little services they can access such as schools, roads and health facilities. 

Life goes on as  normal for them and no one is really bothered or even thinking of going into cities as everyone knows life is more complicated in cities than in the village. 

Many people are very good at capitalising on fast money-making opportunities as long as the opportunities are there but are not able to save money for their futures.

Only a few smart ones are able to create better opportunities to become successful businessmen and women.


Douglas Gilichibi

Port Moresby