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Our attitude to managing of solid waste is everyone’s business, good mindset and behavior and should be equally treated a part of daily manner or practice.
Ministry of Environment, Conservation, Disaster Management and Meteorology (MECDM) Permanent Secretary, Dr Melchior Mataki said this in his keynote address when opening the Melanesians Solid Waste Management (SWM) workshop on Wednesday.
The workshop is organized by the by JICA under J-PRISM for Melanesian countries mainly Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.
He said, population growth in these three Melanesian countries is very high and the challenge of managing solid waste will be tough.
“Solomon Islands at a growth rate of 2.4, Vanuatu at 2.3 and Papua New Guinea at a growth rate of 2.2, these are alarming trends.
“As population increases, usage of more products will only mean more wastes to manage; and yet this has been neglected or ignored by most.
“Solid waste management is not valued at all,” he said.
Mataki said, this is sad indeed and it needs reconsideration, turning it into a positive thought.
People enjoy making use of whatever products but the end product that has become waste is no longer important and nobody cares, this attitude needs change, he said.
“No matter whatever infrastructures or how much money we put into whatever modern technology or system of solid waste management; it will not eradicate or control it.
“The behavior, mindset and attitude of people needs improvement too, it needs change.
“This is a challenge to the people, because 95 percent of solid waste management is the people’s issue; only 5 percent of it is with the policy makers, relevant authorities who are organizing the workshop.”
He added today, Solomon Islands think tourism as another new backbone to the economy; and this comes with responsibility of cleanliness of the environment off course.
“Solid waste management is a serious development issue and is easily be ignored but when it kicks back on us it’s even stronger with its related issues of health so to speak.
“That attitude of enjoying products on purchasing them and cares no more on its aftermath is a real issue needs change, that change may not be overnight but we need it happening.”
By BRADFORD THEONOMI