Place complete ban on betel nut


THE main bus stops over the last month has been free of filth because of the lockdown and the ban on betel nut.
It has over the years been a mammoth task for city hall as they battle with ridding the city of betel nut stains and the filth that comes with it.
That has a challenge NCD Governor Powes Parkop and his team.
Despite being the capital of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby’s streets have been stained by the blood red spittle that chewing produces and discarded husks clog the gutters.
Parkop imposed a ban on betel nut on Oct 1, 2013.
Many criticised the move saying that some people sustained their living by trading betel nut.
Some were arguing that the nut was part of our culture and should not be banned.
And as the law went into effect many realised the city was cleaner with officials enforcing the ban on selling betel nut and chewing it in public with the penalties.
Betel nut sellers and chewers conduct their trade anywhere, it has been hard to control and regulate them.
This time round, a directive from the state of emergency (SOE) due to coronavirus has been issued for a complete ban on betel in the country.
Despite that, a lot of smuggling of items such as betel nuts and liquor took place during the Easter long weekend in Port Moresby, according to police.
National Capital District Met Supt Perou N’dranou said the public continued to defy SOE directives and health advice that disallowed chewing of betel nuts and spitting as part of Covid-19 prevention.
The ban is beneficial for human and environment health as well in a bid to control the movement of people and gathering because of the nut.
This is also a good opportunity for Parkop and his to formalise trading activities, instil good moral perception and remove free rider problem associated with cleaning up of trash.
The ban in a way helped corrected the wrong way of doing things, way of practicing in chewing and spitting of betel nut in public places.
Betel nut chewing involves chewing the palm tree nut mixed with lime powder and mustard, before the red-tinged remains are spit out.
Ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s about (people) changing habits.
Parkop has always been optimistic the clean-up exercise will make people see the bad side of their spitting and hoped this would embarrass them into changing this bad habit.
Parkop’s plan to transform Port Moresby into a “21st Century city” could be on the right path with the SOE directive on the betel nut.
Parkop has had a huge challenge in ensuring City Hall is aggressive with its targets to achieving his plans of transforming the city.
Let us not do a significant leap – not just for the city but for the rest of the nation.
The rest of the nation needs a major inspiration.
Governor, most city residents want to change, however, it is only a few who are dragging everyone down.
They need to believe that a better future is possible.
That can become a reality in NCD.
There are some things that we should have zero-tolerance for, and if it means effecting the betel nut ban, so be it.


  • If we want change without any cost, sorry but we aren’t getting anywhere. Change comes with a cost.
    For our case, ban betel nut so we can live in a clean city.

  • Ban betel nut is ok only if Government wants to subsidize the living standard of those who are involved this informal business sectors.

  • Betel nut chewing should be confined to the villages, as this filthy and unhealthy habit has no place in a modern Papua new Guinean Society. Do away with betel nut for good, because it is disgusting to see people chewing in public and spitting like no body’s business.

  • I totally agree that they should ban bettle nut inorder for the people in the country to enjoy a friendly, safe and peaceful environment..

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