World Earth Day falls today, Wednesday, April 22, 2009.
However, the United States (US) Embassy and the National Capital District Commission (NCDC) have collaborated to celebrate the annual ‘Earth Day’ event this Saturday 25, 2009.
This is a world event celebrated in 174 countries with the aim to raise environmental awareness and promote a sense of responsibility and pride in the beautiful natural environment of Port Moresby, as stated by Grace Maribu, Acting Manager of the Division of Public Relations with the NCDC.
This will be the second year to celebrate this event as it is an initiative of the NCD Governor, Powes Parkop, in line with the vision of making Port Moresby the best city in the South Pacific region by way of cleanliness and beauty.
This year’s event will include the clean-up of Ela Beach.
Ms Maribu says they are extending the clean up to the Sea Park if they get a big number of volunteers.
She said that last year, they got close to 500 volunteers, and is hoping that this year the number would increase.
“The Governor is calling on Port Moresby residents to use this opportunity to show you care for our city, and for parents to bring along school-aged children because this is an educational exercise that will help our children will become more conscious of their responsibilities to the environment,” Ms Maribu said.
She added that last year there were about 10 business houses that took part in the clean-up and hoped that this year there would be more than 10 business houses taking part.
Other events during the event will be face painting, drama presentation by Watete Theatre Group, and the presentation of awards to the winners of the Art Competition.
The art contest was launched about five weeks ago, especially for children to submit environmental art.
All the submissions were judged last Friday.
Ms Maribu is happy to announce that this event has received a lot of good sponsors, like
Air Niugini, giving the major prize for ticket for two to a choice of destination within PNG for the winner of the art contest; Daltron with prizes for the art competition as well;
Coca-Cola who will be providing the water and drinks during the event; Theodist with face painting; Trukai Industries; plus other generous sponsors.
The NCDC hopes to make Port Moresby the leading city in physical attractions, and this event is one way of making people aware of that.
Ms Maribu said the Governor had in line many new and exiting development plans for the city, as well as to redevelop reserves and parks in his beautification programme.
Thus, they have started off at Ela Beach because it is the most-used recreational area.
They have already constructed a volleyball court and a recreational theatre at the Ela Beach, and are now looking at redeveloping the jetty and the aquarium, as well as the Paga Ring Road and the business area there.
NCDC has engaged PNG Gardener Justin Tkatchenko in its beautification programme, with his work complementing the betelnut ban.
Ms Maribu said the privilege given to the informal sector especially the betelnut and cigarette sellers, had been taken back from them because of their irresponsibility.
She said there would be other designated areas to sell these products, thus, not hindering the progress in keeping the city clean.