Dr Mataki: Change of behaviour and attitude vital for waste management - Solomon Star News

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Dr Mataki: Change of behaviour and attitude vital for waste management

01 October 2014
Author 

PERMANENT secretary of the ministry of environment, climate change disaster management and meteorology has issued a tough call for a change of behaviour and attitude to address the problem of waste management.

Dr Melchior Mataki said waste management and waste disposal practices are key issues this country has to take seriously.

“We could have all the resources and technology to manage waste but if we have a bad attitude and behaviour it means nothing,” Dr Mataki said.

He stressed that waste management and practices comprises of 95 percent human behaviour and 5 percent technology.

He said if behaviour and attitudes of people towards waste management is negative, no matter how sophisticated the technology and resources we have to address waste management, it will mean nothing and will continue to be a problem in the country.

Dr Mataki is urging locals to consider the environment and change their behaviour and attitude by practicing environmentally friendly practices.

He said the launch of the eco-bag initiative is a way forward to address the problem of waste in the country.

The launch yesterday was an initiative funded under the Japanese technical cooperation project for Promotion of Regional Initiatives on Solid Waste Management (J-PRISM) in Solomon Islands.

It was aimed at achieving better waste management practices by reducing the use of plastic bags which is an environmental issue.

The PS said although plastic bag has other good uses as sources of income for people, it also has negative environmental and health impacts that impacts livelihoods.

He said attitude and behaviour is not something that can change overnight, therefore the initiative to use eco-bags to plastic bags is a way forward.

Adding, such initiative can make a balance and it’s important to take on alternatives that last and does not harm the environment.

“We need to improve on our waste management practices to ensure cleanliness, healthy people and an attractive country,” Dr Mataki said.

Meanwhile the director of environmental health within the ministry of health has also echoed similar sentiments.

TomNanau said plastic bags though are useful in some way, they have huge environmental and socio-economic impacts.

“Our surroundings are an open book of who we are. Visitors can read our attitude and behaviour just by looking at our surroundings. So if our surroundings are dirty, unhealthy and an eye sore to visitors and people alike, it tells them of who we are and our behaviour and attitude,” Nanau added.

He stressed that plastic bags when not properly used affects the economy through tourism where visitors don’t want to visit our country since its unattractive.

“It affects people’s health and the lives of living things in the rivers and sea which in turn affects humans after all.”

The launch of alternative bags pilot program yesterday was a joint initiative by the ministry of environment, Honiara city council, ministry of health and partners to discourage and reduce the use of plastic bags but use eco-bags.

The program is part of the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Pilot projects implemented under the J-PRISM project in Solomon Islands.

By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA

 

 

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