MANAGING wastes should be everyone’s business and responsibility and should not be shoved around.
Permanent Secretary responsible for environment Dr Melchior Mataki told stakeholders when addressing them on the status of waste management in Solomon Islands at a Workshop Towards Toilet Waste Recycling Pilot Project, last Friday.
This project includes introducing of a new designed technology known as Tasei Soil System (TSS) for liquid wastes management.
Tasei Soil System (TSS) has been conducted as piloted project at Saint Nicholas College and at Mataniko’s newly erected public toilet which is yet to be assessed.
It is funded by the government of Japan through its Ministry of Environment and is implemented by the Honiara City Council with support from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation, Climate Change and Meteorological Services.
Dr Mataki said production of waste is a very democratic process in Solomon Islands, everybody produces it, but when it comes to management of it, it becomes the responsibility of “some others”.
“Nobody wants to take responsibility, everyone worries about taking care of the top part of their body, and are so ignorant of the bottom part.
“This is the challenge; of course that is translated by the priority that is given to waste management here,” he said.
“I must say it is given a very low priority, but I must congratulate all stakeholders who had tried to practice better waste management system, in particularly the government of Japan through this initiative.”
He said the area of waste management is a very sparse field that is rarely attended to by donors, however the Japanese government has been one of the few donor partners who’ve been assisting.
“The efforts and the gesture of assistance by the government of Japan to waste management including this liquid waste management are appreciated together with the Japan Solomon Friendship Association,” he said.
“For the legislative framework here; we do have the Environmental Health Act and the Environment Act, including ordinances of the Honiara City Council but these have their limitations.
“These legislative frameworks are all over the place and I must say they haven’t really been looked into aligning them to support each other.
“This brings into form issues of jurisdiction, responsibility, who should be putting resources, who should not be and it adds on to that issue of waste is not everybody’s business.
“People look at it from that perspective when in fact everybody produces wastes,” said the permanent secretary.
“If we have to look at the means of implementing means of waste management, it’s even worst.
“Because Honiara City Council as the only body currently doing waste management has to always look for money, it struggles. It is struggling to cope with what money they have.
“The types and means of waste management that goes with technology, finances, capacity that is needed to promote fair waste management practices, is a problem.
“The TSS system will only help to address one component, which is the technology aspect of liquid waste management,” he said.
By BRADFORD THEONOMI