I would like to share my experience with you my fellow Solomon Islanders who are residing in and around Honiara City. This was one of the experiences I came across that really strike my attention. Hence, I would like to headline it “Unbelievable Experience”.
It was an unbelievable experience for me and I was shocked to see this. This is about the ‘uses of the public toilets at the Central Market’. It was a big surprise.
On the eve of New Year’s Day, I was at the Central Market looking for something to buy from the market. Whilst searching around in the market, I felt like going to the toilet as nature called. I was about to enter, the security guard at the entrance of the toilet pushed me back and instructed me to go to the other officer to pay a fee of $5.00.
I stood there in shock as I have never heard of anything like paying to use a public toilet. A public toilet has been used as if it was a private facility. The toilets at the Central Market are public facilities and they are meant to be for the public. Once they (toilets) are for the public, then why charge the public for $5.00 fee.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I could not believe it. How the Honiara City Council could allow this to happen. Those amenities were provided for the public and fees were already paid for such facilities to be there. Please HCC, while I salute you for the job well done throughout 2015 operation, I must also kindly call upon your authority to look into this matter and deal with this matter.
What the HCC should do is employ your work men and work women to monitor and clean the public facilities, including the public toilets at the market, instead of charging them (the public) for $5.00.
I don’t get it, there is no logic here. For those who are selling products at the market with the payment of market fees and then there is another charge to pay $5.00 for using the public toilet at the market, this is over charging.
Let it be for the public facilities to be used freely by the public. This is the reason and the logic behind what public facilities are meant for. Please try to make money out of something good, instead of making money out of human waste. I believe and I am pretty sure the public or the market vendors have already paid their fees for using any public facilities within the vicinity of the market area. They paid market fees to the HCC officers at the market and this should qualify them to have access to the services and facilities provided at the Central Market.
Dear my good people of Solomon Islands, we need to be wise enough to deal with ethical practices that are expected of us. There are other things that you should use to raise money, but not toilets. Moreover, any public toilets are meant to be used freely by anyone. It is the sole responsibility of the HCC to employ full time cleaners to clean those public facilities. I believe there should be enough money to cater for such people who are willing to do such a job of cleaning toilets. I believe some people around the corner, they have the guts to clean and look after such public facilities in a good and healthy manner. It is only that they need proper financial rewards as part of their fortnightly salary or allowances.
Here, I would like to call upon the HCC to make some changes and if possible please treat our market sellers fairly should allow them to use the public toilet freely as long as they present their receipts from their market fees to the officer at the toilet entrance. Otherwise, forget about toilet fees or charges and allow our people to go in freely.
You are charging market fees and then toilet fees; this is a broad daylight robbery. You are actually reaping ordinary people twice. This is a clear sign of corruption, I would say.
The only thing that you can do to lead your fellow citizens in a rightful way is to provide true and honest services to the people of this nation. Honesty is the best policy.
May God Bless Solomon Islands; ‘Our Hapi Isles’.
By Augustine Asilaua