BY JOY OFASIA
EARLY September of this year, the Tuvaruhu-based Resilience, Innovation & Social Change Girls Club completed a one-day coastal general clean-up and litter survey activity at the bank of the Mataniko River mouth in Honiara.
The organized event held on September 17, coincided with the annual International Coastal Clean-Up Day.
More than 20 members of the Resilience, Innovation & Social Change Girls Club (RISC-GC) managed to reduce and remove all the amount of trash scattered along the bank of the Mataniko river bank.
RISC-GC President Ms. Bethlyn Bobby told SOLOMON WOMEN that although we remind people to prevent littering into rivers and waterways, it is also the sole responsibility of the national government and Honiara City Council (HCC) to manage waste and come up with an array of strategies to educate residents, and to halt illegal dumping of wastes into rivers and streams.
“It is the responsibility of the government’s ministry of environment and the HCC’s environment division to start educating residents about the negative effects of littering, enforce ant-littering penalties, and clean up litter washed downstream from inland communities,” Bethlyn Bobby said.
Solomon Women understands that in Honiara, most river rubbish comes from land-based sources: littering, illegal dumping, and residents’ lack of or poor waste management practices and recycling capacity.
She described the Mataniko river mouth as the main source of all sorts of rubbish in Honiara.
“The rubbish accumulated on the Mataniko river mouth is from years of rubbish dumping from communities living along the Mataniko River and causing great danger to the marine ecosystem of that area as well as people living at the river mouth.
“I am calling on the people living along the Mataniko River to stop the practice of using the Mataniko River as a dumping site for throwing rubbish as it poses a direct threat to the people as well as our marine environment,” Bethlyn said.
She also called on the Ministry of Environment and the HCC Environmental Division to work together with youths living in the Mataniko coastal area as well as those living in communities living along the Mataniko river to ensure the environment is clean through awareness, training, and resource mobilization.
Meanwhile, Ms. Bethlyn said that RISC-GC being a community-based registered organization located in the Tuvaruhu community is ready to partner with the authorities, stakeholders, and developing partners to ensure Honiara and our environment is clean through innovative approaches.
She acknowledges the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) through the Ministry of Environment focal point for making it possible for them to be part of this very important annual event.
ICC Day is celebrated annually across the world on the 3rd Saturday of September in creating awareness and encouraging people about the importance of coastal line clean up and preserving and protecting the oceans and waterways.
This annual event was established by the ocean conservancy, an organization that helps protect the ocean from the challenges it faces every year.