by Tokana Hasavi – EM TV, Port Moresby
In this EM TV Special Report, we examine the need for a national trade waste policy and explore the main challenges that face Port Moresby’s water regulator, Eda Ranu.
Papua New Guinea doesn’t have an effective trade waste policy to regulate the waste dumping behaviour of businesses.
The policy drafting was initiated by relevant parties, including the Environment and Conservation Department in early 2000 but more than a decade later, an official policy is still pending.
Fresh calls have now been made by Eda Ranu and the National Capital District Commission Waste Management for the immediate creation of a trade waste policy. This comes as the country is experiencing a great amount of commercial activity and substantial infrastructure development within urban limits
Eda Ranu Chief Executive Officer Henry Mokono explained that the perennial dumping of grease and industrial waste from food bars and commercial manufacturers are effectively damaging the city’s underground infrastructure and causing blockages in the manholes around the city.
“The solution is the trade waste policy. This will enable us to regulate, enforce, charge and arrest business operators who fail to comply with waste removal regulation within the policy,” Mokono said.
“Our underground system was designed in the 1960s and was meant for domestic household waste and not industrial or commercial waste – the system is aging and the city’s booming population coupled with businesses’ continual dumping of industrial waste are exerting more pressure on the system,” he added.
Mr Mokono said he has 40,000 kilometres of underground piping in need of an upgrade.
NCDC Waste Management Manager Joshua Sam says there is a severe need to revamp the nation’s Public Health Act (1973).
“There needs to be an overarching legislation within the public health [sector] to empower the by-laws of [the] provincial government,” Mr Sam said.
“Without empowerment from the national level, our by-laws mean nothing and in the process, smart people that know the system’s flaws can get away with activities that are actually illegal in nature.”
A Port Moresby sewerage system upgrade project was planned in 2010 between the PNG government, through the Independent Public Business Corporation, and the Japanese government. But just like the trade waste policy, it’s yet to be tangible.
In the meantime, Eda Ranu and NCDC Waste Management have urged their consumers to manage their waste while they look forward to the creation of a trade waste policy and active revamp of the Public Health Act (1973).