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EDITORIAL: Learn this line and practise saying: “I will not litter today”

It’s now a matter of urgency. The national rubbish problem is a disgrace. The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, recently addressed the issue when he was chief guest at a Nadi
14 Aug 2015 13:46
EDITORIAL: Learn this line and practise saying: “I will not litter today”
Nemani-Delaibatiki

It’s now a matter of urgency. The national rubbish problem is a disgrace. The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, recently addressed the issue when he was chief guest at a Nadi school. He did not mince his words as he spoke passionately and made some profound statements about keeping our environment clean.

He called the rubbish problem a national shame and called on young people to take the lead and set an example for the older folks.

Since then, we continue to see rubbish strewn in many places, particularly on the roadsides. It’s an eyesore that should move us to do something about it.

We cannot afford to sit back and say it is not our responsibility. It is everyone’s responsibility. When food leftovers and other rubbish are thrown from moving vehicles to the roadsides, they land in no man’s land and are left there to either rot or get blown away by the wind.

Litter bugs appear to be everywhere and this is a major concern.

Drastic action is needed to hammer home the message that it is not right to litter.

That’s why we must support the initiative of Parveen Kumar, the minister responsible for the environment.

He has come up with a novel idea. The people are encouraged to take videos and photos of litter bugs and send them to the ministry for processing before they are published in a name and shame exercise. Contributors will be rewarded. Hopefully, the scheme will deter people from littering.

The other deterrence would be strengthening the enforcement of litter by-laws in towns and cities. In the rural areas, the same thing needs to be done.

Unless we up the ante, we will see people continue to throw rubbish in public.

It is an issue that must be discussed by families at home, in schools and in workplaces to raise public awareness.

It should be a national crusade that involves the young and the old. The sad thing is that adults are some of the worst offenders and set a bad example to the young ones.

Dobbing people in who have broken the law is an effective way of discouraging the public from littering.

The time for talking is over. The time for action is here and we must take advantage of it.

Before  you leave home today and travel, think of the anti-litter campaign.

Practise this line and know it by heart: “I will not litter today.” Every time you are tempted to litter, bring out that line and say it.

If you have rubbish you want to dispose of, do the honourable thing and deposit it in designated bins or places.

If you don’t, you could be shamed in newspapers or on national television.

So do the right thing and don’t litter.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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