Is keeping Apia clean and healthy looking someone else’s problem?
The Ministry of Natural Environment and Resources, MNRE, believes that is the attitude in most of the people who turn up in town.
The MNRE has the results of an urban clean up a few weeks ago to support their belief. If that is so then we have a problem people!
Should that be cause for surprise? Not to the Deputy Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa, who made a big thing about it in Parliament not very long ago.
She is the Minister with the portfolio so it is no big surprise.
The environment is her front and back yard. Litter at your own risk of her big broom.
Hell hath no fury like a passionate broom wielding Deputy PM, who raged in Parliament about the trash people leave behind in Apia.
Fiame exploded at how people acted without care or regard with their rubbish dumping habits when they are in town, but not in their home villages.
Keeping the village clean is a big deal for villagers. The rules against littering are under the strict authority of the chiefs and orators and families dare not mess around with those guys.
Village children are conditioned as soon as they can walk, to clean up around the house every day.
Unfortunately, all these proper conditioning in the villages, vanished when they come to Apia. But why?
This is what the Deputy PM was ranting and raving about in the House.
Why is it so easy to let go of all that discipline that is second nature at home, after a bus ride of only a few minutes into town?
The ‘ours and yours’ mentality has been suggested as a possible reason. The thinking is that Government has people paid to clean up Apia, why should they worry about trashing the place.
The Deputy PM should ask those head doctors for answers to this kind of mindset.
While she is chatting with the medical professionals, she should also enquire about the best way to go about changing attitudes to make these trash makers more helpful and supportive.
Fiame is keen on the image of a clean township to rival the neat and tidiness of Singapore.
The Minister has a lasting impression of the Asian nation reputed to be one of the cleanest in the world.
Singapore was not always clean and tidy until strict laws and fines transformed the country into the state that caught the eye of our travelling Minister.
Fiame knows too well the strict rules the Government of Singapore has put in place but she does not want to follow along.
She said so in Parliament but it does not mean if everything else fails she won’t try the Singapore way.
A quick read of Singapore laws shows that they cane people in the country for offences like littering.
If they catch you trashing the place they will give you the good old ‘cane up the backside’ treatment. So far it works.
Our deputy PM is impressed. Now for the big question! If all else fails are we daring enough to pull the guilty over to the side for a good spanking like they do in Singapore.
Worth a thought! Lets slap it around.