My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 02/2006

« Death of pioneering PNG patrol officer Jack Karukuru | Main | Don’t say ethnic or tribal - the word is ‘customary’ »

04 January 2013


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Simply, it is the ATTITUDE OF THE CONSUMER. Carry out awareness and educate our people. I am from Mekeo and we supply buai to POM, Enter any Mekeo Villages and see for yourself, no betel nut skin and red stains. Attitude is the problem and not the buai....The ban will certainly have a signifact impact on my people. WNB call oil palm as their green gold. We call betel nut our green gold. With this nut we have built permanent houses, bought vehicles, send our children to school and the list goes on.....Powes has put city rangers who do not care about human lives, going around with sticks, pipes and dangerous object treatening sellers...This is ridiculous....

Banning buai in Port Moresby will not only affect traders and users in the city but will have implications for many people including the small scale farmers and the re-sellers, as stated by the writer.

Some people depend heavily on buai as their major source of income. If it is banned,people will turn to other ways of getting money and as a result,crime will increase.Look for other solutions to the problem.

I would suggest betel nut chewers should walk around with plastics to put their rubbish or spittle in.Then dispose it at the right place.

Is that a difficult thing to do? Well, I dont think so.

If they are responsible for their own rubbish, the place would be free from spittle and skins. That's just my opinion.

Speaking of underlying issues, a key one is unemployment and the need to generate enough income to survive.

Powes and NCDC may be responsible for improving and maintaining the city environs, but what kind of measures are going to be practical and supported by a majority of the people, who may then become responsible for regulating their own actions.

Otherwise NCDC will have a continuous expense for regulating city clean-up and the burden of constant surveillance of the public to ensure that the rules are being kept.

The latest idea of contracting to a security company sounds like a City Rangers campaign on steroids. That program had mixed success.

After reading all your comments, I agree with some of you.

The buai is here to stay and getting a littering enacted with penalties/punished for those breaching/disobeying the littering acts/guidlines so as to curb littering in the city.

As buai is the main contribution factor of litering in the city; one suggestion is can NCDC set aside maybe 2-3 hours of every Sunday as day of cleanathon,cleaniness and hygiene (both personal, family and social), where no vehicles is allowed on the streets of Port Moresby and possible certain taxi cabs allowed with special passes for those with urgent business work in the city.

For those working on Sunday, their company can provide them with special pass vehicles to move around in the city or pickup - drop off from their homes.

Everyone has to be at home to clean their homes, backyards and streets so forth. If people want to go from point A to point B they catch a special pass taxi cab or either walk, (possibly cycling). The only exception would be police vehicles and ambulances and other vehicles with special passes.

The police and traffic officers should set up road blocks and check on all vehicles moving around the city during those hours of cleanathon. This will be for health & hygiene, litering and also CO2 pollution reduction all combined.

This is just a suggestion.

All your comments are credible...however lets go back to the original discussion by Mr Ni. If buai is banned, all other social issues in NCD and PNG will escalate 10 folds! TRUE! Simply buai is here to stay. Hon Pakop, find some other way around it.

I worry about those who survive on betel nut sales but we need such harsh laws for the betterment of society.

Time for Powes Parkop to take off his 'human rights lawyer' hat and press on the accelerator for radical social change.

Hope this move eventuates or rather materializes.

How much betel nut chewing is a traditional custom to the highlands people of PNG?

We talk of buai as been the lifeline of many families, but we should also question, how many people buy betelnut each day and how much do they spend on betelnut chewing every day, money that is suppossed to be used for the families' necessities?

Why do we talk of sidelining the issue of banning betelnut in towns, cities etc, and keep betelnut chewing back home in the villages where customs are still strong?

Though the task maybe difficult, Powes Parkop is correct in his attempts to ban betel nut in Port Moresby and it should follow in other PNG towns and cities.

Buai is not a necessity in life, but rather a costly, unhealthy and filthy habit adopted by individuals along the way in life out of peer influence and stupid reasons.

In places where it is a custom, betelnut chewing should be practiced there and chewed by the people affected.

A long term remedy is for parents to educate their children not to chew betel nut and restrict them from chewing betelnut as long as they are under their care while growing up.

There should also be strong betelnut chewing regulations on employees and students in all schools throughout the country.

I believe the malady (littering and buai filth) runs deeper than a lack of common sense and poor attitude, and has very little to do with the so called PNG Way.

I believe it's much simpler; people don't care, or at least have been conditioned to not care about the their environment, at least when it comes to garbage, particularly in public areas, but also in their own homes. (Anecdote: I've seen homes with betel nut stains on the bedroom ceiling!).

It takes time but one of the best strategies is education and training of the younger generation and reinforcing this through community outreach work involving families, which may also include such ideas as cleanathons ending in a community barbecue, awards for cleanest street/home/business area.

Such programs should not be left to a few hundred workers from the business houses to conduct annually for the World Environment Day.

That's a good corporate responsibility activity, but what about the rest of the citizenry? Aren't we all responsible for the mess in some way, even by doing nothing?

How much do we really love Port Moresby, what are we each within our communities and households willing to do as a proactive approach to curbing littering and buai filth and how can the NCDC work together with us to achieve our goal of a cleaner, healthier and more welcoming environment?

Agreed B Bina. It's a littering issue and nothing to do with PNG way etc.

I have my views about the economics of buai trade which I raised a while back. But that's not the issue here.

Instead of picking on buai, Governor Parkop will do well to criminalise littering in general and get G4S/RPNGC etc to police it.

Buai will get caught out eventually but so will other eye sores like plastic bags etc.

This issue is simply a problem that can be avoided through common sense and a change of attitude.

If the NCDC were to invest in an adequate number of rubbish bins to cover all areas of the city, then there would be no excuse for individuals to take the time to dispose of their rubbish in these appropriate receptacles.

However for this remedy to remain effective, the NCDC would also have to ensure that these bins are consistently emptied and their contents disposed of in appropriate waste areas or dumps.

I am doubtful whether NCDC has the resources to ensure that this would be done effectively and on a timely basis.

Take for example all the current piles of buai rubbish left around market areas or the overflowing rubbish bins dotted around the city.

If the City Hall Management were serious about cleaning up the city, they should have improved the cleaning up mechanism it has in place now.

With regards to the need to change attitudes, I am of the view that most residents of Port Moresby will be forced to change their attitudes if there are options in place to dispose of their buai rubbish in a convenient manner.

East New Britain arguably has a higher percentage of buai consuming customers, yet it consistently is one of the cleanest towns in PNG. The simple reasons for this is the people’s attitudes. They take pride in their town and utilise the bins that are provided by the town authorities.

Furthermore, there is an added incentive to maintain the cleanliness of the town through spot fines for littering or spitting of buai. The Town’s authorities also ensure that the rubbish bins are regularly disposed of before they become a toxic mess.

The buai consumers too are aware of the need to maintain hygene and cleanliness. Thus people’s attitudes are different in the sense that people take responsibility to ensure that they maintain their town’s cleanliness and hygene.

In Port Moresby, those who consume buai and litter with utter disregard unfortunately appear to outnumber others who try to dispose of their rubbish appropriately.

It's a simple matter of putting rubbish in the right place.

No arguments on other things like custom, Melanesian Way or the economy is suffice to say that we Papua New Guineans don't know how to dispose of rubbish properly, be it a used match stick or betel nut skin.

I have never seen someone tap another on the shoulder and say, mate, pick up that rubbish. I too will drop my rubbish willy nilly.

That should be the starting point is to get all the citizenry to tell each other to pick up their rubbish. Getting the city watch rangers or licenced thugs may stop the litter but create immense social problems.

The police have also got into the act and brandish their special thuggery under the guise of their uniform and sub machine guns.

But the underlying issue is we need a cleaner city. We don't need to talk too much. Jjust talk to your neighbour that throws his litter willy nilly.

Betel nut chewing and the associated littering and public health risk and defacing of municipalities is a social problem and should be addressed by appropriate social solutions.

Why do we immediately want to elevate it to the level of being a crime?

This includes an added cost of enforcement to the NCDC already stretched resources. I'm sure many residents would prefer more money spent on garbage collection.

Has there been thorough consultation, planning and debate of what is desirable to achieve for the city image, apart from Powes and NCDC visions; public awareness and cooperation needs to be garnered before we enforce any prohibition laws.

If social measures are used people will take ownership of this cause and take actions to curb their behaviour. That's the best kind of 'policing' to have for any crime.

The social pathway takes time to travel down, but good journeys always do.

It will never work. When 90% of the people do this, how can a few hundred private security workers do anything?

Rob Andrews should know better.

It's a joke. And Powes should get back to reality.

OK so let's ban beer in Australia. The scale is similar.

And I don't need to mention the experiment with prohibition in the US.

That was a great success.


Policing buai! Hardly a high risk operation making the use of an expatriate security organisation necessary.

There must be at least a hundred local security forces in POM.

And this from a human rights lawyer committed to the betterment of his countrymen.

I can forgive G4S working for their oneskins like Exxon Mobil. It is hard to forgive Parkop for his lack of faith in his countrymen.

Chewing tobacco by whitemen was in vogue for a time and spittoons were provided for users. Sniffing snuff (tobacco dust) causing sneezes was also responsible for public health issues.

Enforce littering laws; enforce traders to display color posters of cancerous buai users as is done in Australia with smokers. Educate users away from the habit.

Taiwanese, Indians and other Southern Asians habitually partake of buai. How do they handle the matter? Do they deny or do they control?

Powes Parkop plans to outsource the policing of this to G4S.

A plan to install security cameras around Port Moresby and outsource minor policing to private security is meeting with resistance from PNG police.

"The General Manager of Communications and Technology at G4S, Rob Andrews, says his guards would only respond to certain situations.

"If it's general moving people on, chewing buai in the wrong places, causing a commotion prior to some sort of incident, if we can predict that and prevent it then we will dispatch our guards to get to the site as soon as possible," he said.

When is Kastom an evil practice which should be changed by law? This thread seems to have run through several discussions here on PNG Attitude.

It has included cannibalism, polygamy, bride-price, womens' place in politics, Bikman mentality, wantokism and other aspects of PNG culture.

And now 'betelism'.

No answers - just questions. It's up to the people of PNG to resolve this.

Do we see 'The Melanesian Way' coming up at last against religion and democracy and public health and basic human rights?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)