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A public servant on Manus Island is adamant that if parents instill ethics of disposing off waste at appropriate places, our communities would be “green”.
Francis Ndrewei is a local level government manager and coordinator of “Lorengau Urban Children Go Green Ambassador” campaign.
A weekly- Saturday clean-up that has been going on since October last year.
He said his children and their peers of ward three in Lorengau have made a commitment to be ambassadors by being responsible to the environment and volunteer to clean up waste in Lorengau town.
“Whether you are a politician, an academic, theologian, street vendor, scientist, lawyer, villager, student, technocrat, bureaucrat or whatever you are. The Lorengau town is in dire need for a major refurbishment of its environment. Take a stroll on the beach front and streets and see to believe it yourself the deteriorating state of our environment because of our ignorance under our very eyes,” Ndrewei said.
“Well, let’s not sit back and ask for hand out from asylum seeker projects or national government or other donors. Instead let’s do something to make our town clean, safe and beautiful.”
“It was Francisca Asah ,8, doing elementary 2 at Pombrut Elementary who decided to clean the road next to her family’s house. She continued for couple of afternoons after school .She received positive comments from those who walked past. The positive comments convinced her family to make it their business to voluntarily clean the ward three inner streets .The family then extended the clean up to the main town street from the Manus Provincial Government complex to the NBC Park,” Ndrewei said.
The other children in the ward three areas joined the group. The team comprises children aged between 5 to 15years. They are supervised by parents.
“Every Saturday morning if you walk or drive along the street between Tapos’ lodge and Lorengau market and you will see small ambassadors with yellow scarf busy collecting the week long deposits of rubbish. These little go green ambassadors are professional in this business. It’s a Free of Charge mission. However a something like incentive allowances as a token of appreciation would strengthen the engagement of these children.”
“They have been in the boot camp and passed out armed with saying no to throwing rubbish. If we start building these children at very young age, the world knows Lorengau’s streets, parks and sea front or beach will be attractive and naturally enticing,” Ndrewei said.
He said types of rubbish children collected were plastics, papers, cans and bottles.
“Most disgusting are rubbish like used bum bums, used condoms, and other toiletries disposed of onto the streets. These included also human waste indiscriminately disposed into plastics and strewn on the streets and beach fronts.