Samoa to assess waste management systems before SIDS conference
Samoan government and SPREP working together to look at waste management systems before 3000 delegates arrive for UN conference in September.
The Samoan government is looking at ways to handle the waste expected from a major United Nations conference in Apia this year.
More than three thousand 3000 delegates are expected to attend the Small Island Developing States Conference in September which will focus on challenges being faced in the three SIDS regions, including the Pacific.
The assistant chief executive for environment at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Faleafaga Toni Tipamaa, says it needs to work out how it can deal with all the waste that will be generated.
He told Mary Baines that, to do so, the ministry will do a waste management audit of 45 accommodation providers and conference centres over two days this week.
FALEAFAGA TONI TIPAMAA: What we are looking at is to gauge the amount of waste generated within the hotels and all the other areas including the venues, and that should give us some indication of how much we should be preparing for, and at the same is to be able to come up with the best way of dealing with this issue.
MARY BAINES: So what will this audit involve? You'll look at the waste management systems that these conference centres and hotels already have in place and you'll tell them how to implement better ones?
FTT: Yeah, yeah. We feel that it's important that also the hotels could give us an indication, and assist with this. It's important that we should all understand what waste's generated and also know where it's being taken to. And for us to know by the time SIDS happening we should really understand how much is going to be generated. We have a landfill, we also are looking at other facilities that would be able to provide good management of this issue.
MB: It seems like a really big job, to do this in two days. Do you think you'll be able to get it done?
FTT: Well yeah, we are hoping with eight teams that we've put together we should be able to do the work in two days. It's not an easy work to do, especially when you've got to travel around the island visiting all the hotels and accommodation premises. But we've got a plan set up. The Ministry of Natural Resources is specifically allocated, looking after the waste for the conference. So we have been closely also working with the Samoa Ports Authority, because there will be a cruise ship at port. So all that is being taken care of.
MB: And do you think waste management is an issue usually in Samoa, or do you feel that it's well looked after, and just now that so many people will be coming in it becomes an issue?
FTT: You know, the government has actually been looking at all the different areas that can provide integration of different programmes. We have been very focussed on the "three R" programme - re-use, reduce and recycle. We are now taking it further, to look at segregation of waste and source. Because at the moment everything is being collected and taken up to the landfill and it's being segregated out there. It is very important that island communities should be able to take good care of managing waste. I think Samoa is moving ahead with its programme, we hope to be seen as a pilot island country.
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