A lot of unwanted activities are still happening at the Honiara Botanical Garden (HBG).
Director of the Herbarium, Myknee Sirikolo says nowadays it is the high school students frequenting the garden, even during school hours.
“This calls for attention and immediate action from parents and guardians”, Sirikolo says.
Since 2017, the Ministry of Forestry and Research has been working on improving the facilities at the HBG.
Its aim is to attract visitors and families to the garden. But since its upgrade more and more unwanted activities are taking place at the garden.
“They do not respect us anymore. They play loud music, consume kwaso and participate in illicit activities”, Sirikolo says.
He says a few times the students also retaliated when the security officers told them off. Sirikolo says from observation, morals and values have totally disappeared.
“It seems as if parents and guardians are not doing their job. They are placing the wellbeing of their children in the teacher’s hands. It is not supposed to be this way”, Sirikolo says.
He says the foundation of a child begins in the family.
“Parents are the first teachers. The foundation of learning begins at home. The good correct way of conduct for the children needs to be taught in the home”, Sirikolo says.
The HBG plans are to conserve the biodiversity and cultural knowledge of Solomon Islands and to educate visitors to the garden.
It is also hoped to promote recreation and biodiversity conservation, education and research to encourage appreciation of the country’s resources and biodiversity.
The issue of unwanted activities had been a long time challenge for the HBG. In the past families used to enjoy recreation or past time activities at the HBG.
“No one wants to see these sort of activities especially when visitors are families with children”, Sirikolo says.
He says the ministry currently employs two security officers but they are not capable of dealing with issues of law and order. The officers also only work at night.
“The police hardly patrol this way”, Sirikolo says. Sirikolo has been working in the forestry ministry for thirty years now.
“It is sad to see lack of respect for the environment, people and authority”, he says.
The ministry of forestry is still working on fencing the HBG area.