By ERIC PIET
IT had rained a day before in Port Moresby and the early morning tide that day was slowly receding to sea, with a mild swash and backwash of waves crushing onto the stones and sand of the shoreline where it had just delivered its ugly content – debris, mainly plastics of all sort.
The plastic trash swept back to the shoreline from sea by swash action had to a greater extent supplemented that which was left there by beach users and also ones washed from inland – sea bound – and deposited there by the previous rain, making the Port Moresby’s recently revamped beautiful and iconic Ela Beach front strewn with unbearable filth.
That situation with ugly sight in one of the city’s public recreational amenities, drove newly founded non-governmental organisation to promote a conducive and physically clean city environment to take to the beach for a dawn cleanathon on Saturday, June 6. It was a goodwill gesture dedicated to Mother Nature, thereby making the foundation’s inaugural activity coincide with the marking of the World Environment Day that fell on Friday, June 5. This years WED theme was “Time for Nature”.
Guardian Angels Givim Foundation, a not-for-profit NGO, was recently incepted by like-minded school friends of the 2000-2001 era at Port Moresby National High School, who are today intellectuals and professionals in different walks of life.
These positive-minded friends have seen the need to help marginalised and vulnerable individuals and groups in communities through the foundation and give back to society, hence its name.
The board membership of the foundation currently number eight, with all but only one taken from outside their circle of friends.
Having commenced its activities, the foundation would not limit its programmes to a certain areas or domains alone, but will diversify them to address multi-pronged issues in areas of concern ranging from environmental issues, education, health, law and order issues, women and girls, children and the elderly, youths, people with disabilities and church groups provided genuine needs are identified.
Foundation board member, George Kulisi, who works with the Department for Community Development and Religion said this about the foundation: “It is a community-oriented NGO formed by like-minded intellectuals and it’s all about helping and giving to the needy in the communities and not necessarily about making money.”
With the month of June being regarded as the month of the environment, the foundation is planning in collaboration with the National Capital District Commission a mangrove planting activity. Following that would be distribution of library books to certain schools in NCD to replace the outdated ones.
Back to the cleanathon at Ela Beach, the foundation is ever grateful for the support given by various reputable organisations led by Puma Energy in making its inaugural activity a success. It would certainly not have occurred without Puma’s donation of 120 each of Puma Energy T-shirts, caps, lanyards and three large tents for the exercise, which provided shelter and from which light refreshments were served to the garbage collectors.
The foundation also thanks Vanimo Jaya Ltd company for the provision of 80 trash bags, 200 pieces of hand gloves and 2 cartons of Nature’s Own water bottles, Kina Bank which lent a large portable gas BBQ stand for use that day and the NCDC garbage collectors for trucking the trash for safe disposal.
Puma Energy’s territory manager Jackson Sitban, who is also the foundation’s interim treasurer said the company was always willing to support organisations who shared the Puma’s spirit, which is in valuing and protecting the natural environment in their area of operation.
Governor Parkop, who with Port Moresby General Hospital chief executive officer Paki Molume, graced the foundation with their presence and participation at the dawn cleanathon.
The governor said it was important that all city residents showed moral and ethical standards and behavior to the nature because by doing so a lot of care and respect would be endowed to our city environment, making Port Moresby become one of the cleanest city in the world.
“Time for Nature is this year’s World Environment Day theme, with a focus on its role in providing the essential infrastructure that supports life on earth and human development. It is a message that we in PNG should give serious consideration since we are rated as one of the megadiverse countries in the world, but one with people who care less for the environment, as evidenced by the reckless manner in which our garbage is being littered and dumped in the environment,” Parkop said.
“In the beginning God has created and placed us to be stewards of the environment, but we have miserably failed.
“Therefore, it is high time now we change our attitude towards the environment when nature is beckoning on us to do that, it really is time for nature.
“I encourage every city resident to keep your homes clean and at least plant a tree in your backyard and if everyone in the city planted a tree, by the end of the year, we would have almost one million trees because our population is almost a million.
“This would ensure our city air remains clean and regulated, while also contributing to reducing the effects of climate change by removing harmful carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” Parkop said.
In thanking the Guardian Angels Givim Foundation for organising the cleanup at the beach, Parkop said he would be pleased to partner with the foundation in its future endeavours in the city.
Imagine what it would be like without a workable environment and its support systems. Hence, we owe our very lives to nature.
I end this piece with an excerpt from Inger Anderson, under-secretary-general of the United Nations and executive director of United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) on the occasion of the marking of the 2020 WED: “Today on the World Environment Day, I call on everyone to work together to protect the nature that supports us all. The stronger our planet’s life support systems are, the better human health and wealth will be.”
- Eric Piet is a freelance writer.