Let us keep Port Moresby clean


THE National Capital District Commission has a huge task of creating a safe, healthy and clean Port Moresby as the city plays host to various international meetings leading to the Apec Summit in November.
This task will not be easy but someone has to crack the whip without fear or favour.
Most of our 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 come the need to instil in people a sense of pride and unity.
Port Moresby is far and away the leader in growth and development and what the capital city’s political leadership under Governor Powes Parkop has been trying to do to bring about a change in attitude 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 it has had on the city.
Bans, restrictions, messaging and controls have been tried since he entered office and by now the governor must realise that regulating 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.
Yesterday, he announced the reintroduction of a partial betel nut ban and litter ban in public places.
The ban will be imposed immediately, within the next few days – in the Boroko City Centre first.
The ban is also to manage the abuse of betel nut vending, chewing and littering in the city.
Parkop this time round is lenient by imposing this ban only in public places and around shopping malls and commercial areas.
Good news for the vendors; retail and wholesale markets will be identified for trading.
The ban will be reviewed in six months’ time.
It is understood that the trading of betel nut helps people earn a living to make ends meet.
But when the people involved in its trade do it irresponsibly – it becomes a problem.
Bins will be provided in the Boroko area and it is time the public starts using them to dispose of litter.
Another initiative to be introduced is the one-way streets in the area to ease traffic congestions and allow more pedestrians to walk the streets.
After Boroko is secured and positive outcomes are achieved, the same mechanism will be applied to other areas in the city, including the Manu market area, all shopping centres, Erima (under the flyover) and areas around Rainbow and Gerehu.
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.
Taking care of the public walkways, roads and areas used by people of all walks of life on a daily basis is not entirely the responsibility of the state or municipal authorities.
The idea that maintaining order and peace in society is somehow the public service’s responsibility is not only regressive but detrimental to progress.
Residents who call Port Moresby home have the responsibility to do the right thing.
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.
Let’s all take pride in our city and adhere to the changes.