Head of the Solomon Islands Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Advocacy Association (SIIPHRAA), Moses Ramo has said the dirty streets of Honiara will never promote Solomon Islands as a tourist destination.
Mr. Ramo told SIBC News Honiara is expecting a number of large cruise ships to arrive this year, but the dirty streets are not a sight that will encourage tourists to return.
He said the Central market is a tourist attraction, but its present condition is unacceptable.
Last week, the Solomon Islands Visitor’s Bureau (SIVB) confirmed 14 cruise ship arrivals for this year.
SIVB’s Marketing Officer, Ellison Kyere also emphasized then that the streets of Honiara should be cleaned.
He said the first cruise ship will arrive this Sunday.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ramo also questioned the failure by the Honiara City Council (HCC) to manage and control waste disposal in Honiara.
He said the Council has failed to implement regulations such as the seven-metre by-law for shops, maintain the Central Market’s condition and collect rubbish along the streets.
Mr. Ramo says he is surprised the Council has failed with its new leadership and the revenue it collects.
“I was surprised because firstly, we have a new leadership at the Honiara City Council and secondly, by now these should have been improved, but it’s getting worse. Third, I understand that the City Council has collected a lot of money from the businesses and the market and so my question is where are all these money going?”
He reminds the general public to help the Council implement the laws and ensure waste in Honiara are disposed of properly.
“At this juncture, I’d like to say that it’s our responsibility, but the Honiara City Council must be responsible for ensuring that all the by-laws regulating rubbish disposal be done according to what the law says with regards to the standard of our city.”
Meanwhile, Honiara City Council (HCC) Clerk, Charles Kelly admits that rubbish around Honiara city is overwhelming and the Council has to do better this year.
Mr. Kelly says he will meet with the waste management team by the end of this week to discuss new strategies to tackle waste disposal in the city.
He says the Council has already done a lot of service delivery but he will prioritize rubbish disposal this year.
“I would like to be responsible myself this year because as I mentioned at the first place, I felt that we’ve worked hard, doing a lot of service delivery because the Council is not doing only waste management but other services as well and we feel that we have done so much, but people in Honiara assume that we are weak just because the rubbish was not collected, but I myself would like to be seen as being responsible this year.”
Meanwhile, the City Clerk says residents within the city can also assist the Council by separating their waste into soft and hard collections.
“You may keep soft waste in another bag and then hard waste in another separate bag so that when our vehicles come around, they would know which is a hard and soft waste because the compactors are designed to pick up only soft waste and not metal or hard waste as the latter can wreck the compactors.”