Help authorities clean streets


THERE is a general mentality among the public that keeping the streets of our cities, towns and villages clean and in order is a job for the authorities.
The idea that maintaining order and peace, and a balanced state, in society is somehow the public service’s responsibility is not only regressive but detrimental to progress.
Taking care of the public walkways, roads and areas used by people of all walks of life use on a daily basis.
This not entirely the state’s responsibility.
The powers that govern at every level of society, whether it be at the ward, local level government, district or provincial, are there as regulators.
The people themselves must bear the weight of care.
But it takes two sides to make it a success.
Papua New Guinea’s major towns and cities are experiencing an unprecedented level of growth in terms of the expansion of the economy and the size of the population.
With these rapid changes comes the need to instil in the people a sense of pride and unity.
These are abstract concepts but they are key to keeping order and ensuring that people contribute in a positive way to the communities they live in.
Port Moresby is far and away the leader in growth and development.
What the capital city’s political leadership under Governor Powes Parkop has been trying to do to bring about change in attitudes is commendable but by no means a solvable problem for the short term.
As an example, Parkop has been a staunch campaigner against betel nut chewing and the problems this widely practiced habit has had on the city.
Bans, restrictions, messaging and controls have been tried since he entered office.
By now the Governor must realise that regulating the people’s attitudes is not something that can be done in a term of office or even two.
It is a generational change that will take place over time provided there is constant positive reinforcement of the right behaviour.
Everyone who calls their respective towns home, have a responsibility to do the right thing.
When it comes to street selling, we can start by refusing to buy from vendors who are plying their trade at the wrong places, disposing the spittle and the rubbish in the right places.
Here in the nation’s capital, a good number of the population do respect public property.
We all need to take ownership of the city.
We need to embrace it as if it was our personal property.
People have a tendency to take more care when something belongs to us.
Strengthening the system and reducing corruption is the means to this end.
The question remains, can the people at the top stay the course?
It is an uphill battle but it is not a dilemma experienced by this city.
Every city and town on the globe has its own issues to deal with.
In many instances, the societies that have made headway in achieving peaceful, progressive and harmonious existence are those that have strong and effective policing and a sound, fair justice system.