16th December, 2016 On Monday 12th December, MEIDECC , Waste Authority Ltd, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, Crown Law, and representatives from the Nuku’alofa Urban Development Sector Project met at Davina House for a training workshop.Participants were those who will be enforcers of the new Environment Management (Litter and Waste Control) Regulations 2016.
The workshop has responded to calls for action from the Tongan community to enforce these regulations to protect Tonga and ensure a clean green future for its children. It is a joint effort from multiple organizations to ensure that officers are given suitable training to enforce the new regulations that were passed by cabinet in May 2016.
“It was great to all come together and discuss the practical issues that we face,” said Naomi Fakauka of the Waste Authority. “With Health Inspectors, Environment Officers, Police and Waste Officers all empowered under the Regulations, we need to work as a team to spread awareness and collaborate on implementing the regulations consistently”.
“Today’s workshop was important to share knowledge, and learn from the experiences of the Ministry of Health’s Tobacco Control Unit,” said Mafile’o Masi from MEIDECC. “It is important when bringing in new fines, that we ensure the people know about it, and that we use the Regulations fairly to bring about change to behavior. The aim is to stop illegal dumping, burning and littering, and improve the living environment for all of us.”
The participants agreed that raising awareness is critical. As fines will soon be implemented by the enforcement agencies (MEIDECC, MOH, Police & WAL), we must continue to spread the message. The group will also continue with training and planning early in the new year to ensure that the implementation is consistent across all agencies.
Spread the word, pick up your rubbish, don’t burn or dump it. Use regular waste management services.
Clean Green Tonga is a social movement for change. We are working in our communities, schools and workplaces – together making a difference.