By GABRIEL LAHOC
THE National Botanical garden in Lae has been used as a dumping ground by some Lae residents for several years.
The disposals have turned some areas on the perimeter of the once beautiful English garden into a dumping site.
A group of casual workers hired by the garden’s custodian, the Papua New Guinea Forest Research Institute (PNGFRI), to clean up along the perimeter fence, stumbled upon an array of rubbish in varying stages of decay.
According to a forest scientist, some of the metal rubbish could have been dumped as far back as 15 years ago.
The workers who started work last week said the dump site has “every waste you could ever imagine” which included cans, leftover food, baby diapers and plastic bags from households to old equipments from the hospital such as latex gloves, old condoms and wheel chairs.
“People throwing their rubbish here have made this place so filthy with so many flies and bad smell,” a casual worker said.
The area is located directly opposite the Huon Gulf Motel, Angau Memorial General Hospital’s staff residential area, and the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Hospital chief executive officer, Dr Polapoi Chalau, denied any knowledge of the dump site when contacted yesterday afternoon.
“I am not aware of this but I will check with the hospital’s respective managers to look into it,” Dr Chalau said.
PNGRFI programme leader for forest biology, Robert Kiapranis said wastes were deposited there before and after the fencing of the 56 hectare garden.
“A lot of wastes are from Angau’s residential area, the National Orthotic and Prosthetic Services, Huon Development Authority and Huon Gulf Motel.
“We have sent letters to managers of these organisations,” Mr Kaprianis said.
He added that nearby residents also dump their rubbish in the drains that flow from Admin Compound and Lae Bowling Club into the garden.
“We will carry out major awareness targeting all the surrounding residents, and we are hoping that they will help by refraining from disposing their rubbish in the garden.
“PNGFRI is managing the current situation and we will get rid of thewastes in the garden,” he said.