CABINET has approved that all Public Servants will be paid to clean up the capital city half a day every Friday.
This was confirmed by Secretary to Prime Minister and Chairman of the Pacific Games 2023 National Hosting Authority (NHA), Dr Jimmy Rodgers, in a press conference at the new national stadium yesterday.
Dr Rogers said this initiative is part of the government’s support to reduce the workload of the Honiara City Council (HCC) in cleaning up Honiara for the 2023 Pacific Games.
He said the government, through the Games Organising Committee (GOC), has been working with HCC to quantify how they can support HCC.
Dr Rogers said one of the support initiatives is the Keep Honiara Clean Campaign which is now ongoing.
He said the Cabinet has approved that public servants carry out a half-day clean up every Friday so that public servants are paid to clean the town.
“You are paid already because your salary continues. On Friday afternoon, you are paid to be rubbish collectors,” he said.
Dr Rodgers said the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service has issued a memo to all public servants in Honiara and those seconded to HCC and Guadalcanal Province.
“We as a team have been paid to collect rubbish every Friday afternoon,” he said.
Dr Rodgers also added that churches have said they will continue with the clean-up campaign every Saturday and every Sunday for Sabbath keeper.
“So, basically, there is a new idea now. What this means to HCC is that whatever little funding they have, they will use them for normal clean-up of 100-tonnes of rubbish a day in Honiara. This clean-up (by public servants) will help reduce the workload of HCC.
Dr Rogers said during the games, there will be an additional 60 tonnes of rubbish for which GOC is prepared to support HCC to clear up.
He further adds that there are two areas they will also assist HCC. One area is to provide grants for each Ward in Honiara.
Dr Rogers said as soon as each ward comes up with its work plan, a fund of $6 million will be allocated to it.
“In each ward, we want to see a daily programme that involve youth groups, churches, women’s groups, schools and communities.
“Once the programme starts, we want to see them join HCC every second Friday.
“The other area is to manage the rubbish dump at Lunga. We don’t have another rubbish dump, so HCC needs equipment. We are going through processes to support HCC to procure the much-needed equipment,” Dr Rogers added.
Dr Rodgers said the government is also discussing with private contractors to see if they can assist in providing transport to clean up the city.
BY CHARLES KADAMANA