The story about the 11 year old boy scavenging for survival is indeed a sad story and many people certainly look at the government to do something about this before and I quote from Solomon Times "it gets out of hand".
The best option would be for the government to buy houses for our relatives and wantoks at Ranandi and maybe also give them allowance for daily needs. That would be so good to be true though. If that happens I would even go stay at Ranandi so that the government buys me a house as well. This is off course a possible thing for any government but considering the so called economic crisis in the entire universe and our own economic struggle as one of the least developing countries in the world, I highly doubt this will be a feasible approach for the government.
I think we should have more investment in Recycling businesses to provide better and more opportunities for those already in the business.
Rubbish and master lius are a common sight on the streets of Honiara; it is actually a common sight everywhere in the world except that in other countries there are always people around- either on the government payroll or as individual enterprises to pick up the rubbish. On the streets of these other countries as well there are always people with brooms all day, watching for leaves or cigarette butts that we as human beings carelessly drop on the paths even though there are always rubbish bins around.
Everywhere in the world there are people who collect garbage for income or make a living out of it. It's a good business if we look at it on the brighter side.
Every morning a lady comes around our rooms (in the world's second fastest growing economy in the world) to collect garbage. She will be later seen outside sorting out the degradable garbage from those that cannot be degraded.
Her stock usually consists of bottles, cans, plastic bottles, plastic bags, papers, metal scraps and card boxes. She often makes several trips in a day home or wherever her storage is to put her stuff. I am assuming she gets to sell her products to several companies considering the various things she collects. She is happy because she makes money, the residents are happy because there is no rubbish laying around, the companies are happy they have products to export or transport to recycling factories but above all the world is happy there is less garbage pollution.
On a motor cycle outside with a large trailer as well a couple collects card boxes and old items thrown out by residents. This is their full time job. All of these people are probably Collectors for some recycling Company or clients of the recycling companies. Come to think of it-this is one good solution to both the rubbish we have and the unemployed people we have in the Happy Isles. We should have more recycling business giving more opportunities for people already in the business. And when such are set up I am sure there will be regulations and policies enforced to avoid Child labor as the parents would be employed and cater for their children to be in schools, a rightful place for a 11 year old kid.
There is money in recycling non-biodegradable garbage materials as they can used to make new household items. This business can help clear up the garbage dump sites like Ranandi of unsightly garbage and our streets which are always littered with all kinds of rubbish.
Rather than waiting for the government to give our wantoks, shelter or money we should help them gain more access to more income that would elevate them from such struggles and simultaneously "keep Honiara clean". I guess the call should be on everyone including the NGOs to take note before it gets out of hand.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of John Hayward and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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