Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Sir Peter: Madang has become ‘rubbish town’

 SCENIC and idyllic Madang town has been described as "rubbish town" by the man who promotes it as the best holiday destination in PNG, The National reports.
Sir Peter Barter, who owns and runs the Madang Resort Hotel and Melanesian Discoverer cruises, said the "once beautiful and clean town, known as one of the most beautiful in the Pacific, has been littered with rubbish and plastic bags" of late.
He said: "It is not only the township, the waterways in the harbour, even offshore islands are a disgrace. Plastic bags, bottles, condoms as well as effluent have created an environmental nightmare created by man.   
"Apart from the environmental damage, plastic bags are creating serious economic problems by blocking water intakes on outboard motors and larger vessels causing severe damages."
Not a man to complain without taking action on his own, Sir Peter has mobilised his own Melanesian Foundation to clean up the town. Using children from the staff compound at the Madang Resort the foundation has set about cleaning up the fish market, Rotary Park, Bates Oval are public areas around the court house and behind the Madang Medical Clinic. 
In two days the workers filled two truck loads of plastic bags. They are now targeting the waterways around Yamilon Lagoon.    
Sir Peter said: "This should not be the sole responsibility of these children, the entire community should be involved and somewhere along the line all business houses must accept some responsibility to stop or reduce the use of plastic bags and to assist in providing rubbish bins around their stores with signs telling the public not to litter the place!
"Every store in Madang is using too many plastic bags, every store could reduce the number of bags dramatically if your staff were better trained and perhaps some of the business houses could begin to provide re-usable environmental bags and hopefully in the near future the Madang Provincial Government and MULLG will introduce and implement strict litter laws. In the meantime, all I can do as a citizen is ask every business house to help reduce the use of plastic bags by whatever means available."
And Sir Peter ended his call with a thinly-veiled threat: "If you have any desire to return Madang to its former glory, you will accept this suggestion seriously.  If you do not, a campaign will be funded by this foundation to recommend to the public not to patronise your business!"

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