Make clean-a-thon an annual event

Editorial, Normal

The National, Friday May 22nd, 2015

 THE clean-a-thon to get Port Moresby city clean and ready for the Pacific Games in July is a wonderful initiative by the National Capital District Commission.

It is encouraging to note that City Hall has the support and assistance of some government entities and corporate organisations in making the clean-up campaign a real success.

The clean-a-thon will run for three days this month and in June.

City manager Leslie Alu’s appeal to all residents, local and foreigners, to join in cleaning up their city should be heeded. “As long as all of us are living in Port Moresby, this is our city. Let us all unite and make it clean and beautiful in preparation for the Games.”

We commend Alu and his management team for the initiative and urge all residents to take part in clean-up their city for the Pacific Games.

We would like to suggest to City Hall that in view of the 2018 APEC summit in Port Moresby and other forthcoming international events, the clean-a-thon should become an annual event.

Up in the Highlands, it is encouraging to hear that Mt Hagen will be cleaned up of counterfeit or fake products that have flooded the city streets. 

Provincial police commander Chief Supt Martin Lakari on Wednesday gave a four-day notice to vendors to sell their wares, presumably Asian-made, and get out. “In the absence of city rangers, we can’t leave the city to the dogs. They do whatever they please on the streets with their fake goods.”

Lakari warned that police would move in and flush out all vendors off the streets and prosecute people sitting and selling their goods on footpaths and lawns.

He said police would ar­rest and charge people throwing rubbish, carrying offensive weapons or other illegal items into the city.

He must be commended for taking stern measures to make Mt Hagen a cleaner city with an environment that is conducive to good and safe living as well as proper business operations.

While Lakari is moving quickly to clean up Mt Hagen, we wonder when NCD police will start their campaign to flush out vendors on the city streets.

NCD Met Supt Andy Bawa announced almost two months ago that the nation’s capital will be cleaned up of counterfeit products and non-English speaking foreigners.

It followed a recent police raid in which counterfeit sports uniforms worth about K126,000 were confiscated from a foreign-owned commercial centre in the city.

During the raid, police confiscated sports uniforms with Papua New Guinea’s national logo and art designs of the country’s 40th independence anniversary, which is on September 16. Police encountered many non-English speaking foreigners at this particular commercial centre.

Bawa planned to meet with relevant departments such as Labour, Immigration and Customs to discuss a joint operation to rid the city of such foreigners and their counterfeit products.

We agree with Bawa that all foreigners who enter Pa­pua New Guinea for business and employment purposes must be required to speak English, which is the language of business and ed­ucation in this country. It should be optional for them to speak the two main local languages, Tokpisin and Motu.

Seemingly, such foreigners have been lured to our shores by the current economic boom that has been spurred by the development and production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other resource projects.

“I’m suspecting that there will be a massive selling of counterfeit Papua New Guinea products during the Pacific Games,” Bawa said at that time.

His other concern is that the traders of counterfeit and cheap products are using under-aged children as cheap labourers.

In fact, the sight of under-aged children selling counterfeit and cheap foreign products at traffic light intersections and along the main city roads is becoming unbearable in the capital city.

Not only are they selling the items outside of licenced business premises but these young children are risking their lives and are traffic hazards.

Sooner or later, one of them will be seriously hurt or even killed in a traffic accident.

NCD police must start immediately to clear up the streets, especially the traffic light intersections, of these young vendors before they go after the real culprits.