Unlikely rubbish dump in Vaitele Tai

By Tina Mata'afa-Tufele 22 May 2020, 6:00PM

A portion of land in Vaitele Tai continues to be used as a rubbish dump by members of the public, frustrating workers whose officers are within its vicinity as they continue to strive to keep it clean.

The area in question, which is on private land located between the Frankie Hypermart and the Farmer Joe supermarket, continues to be an eyesore for residents as well as commuters passing through. 

Siaosi Eliapo, 45, a taxi driver from Vaigaga with Sign Studios Blessing Taxi Stand, said he used to clean up the area with his colleague drivers but they eventually got tired as the littering continued.

“There are people who come here to this land to mow the grass and they should pick up the trash too. But all they do is mow the lawn. Another thing is the people who come and take rest here. They are to blame. You know we used to clean up this area and pick up the trash but the trash is neverending,” he said. 

“If you look at the trash, you see coffee cups because everyone who traverses Vaitele all have different thinking.  What they should do is after you eat your food, you should put your rubbish in the trash can. You don’t just throw it wherever you are. If the family who owns this land does not put up a fence, no good will become of this.”

Four men, who all work for a hotel, were found sitting underneath a big tree on the property. They had just clocked off on Wednesday morning and were enjoying their time off from work when they were approached by the Samoa Observer.

Jonathan Tiumalu of Matautu, Lefaga said the issue of waste management needs team-work to be effectively addressed.

“People need to support initiatives to keep our country clean. We need teamwork to keep Samoa clean and people…we know about the programs by the government and also by hotels to keep Samoa clean,” he said. “The four of us here, we work for the Sheraton and a lot of times, we work hand-in-hand with the Government on clean-ups in the town area.”

For drivers at the Blessing Taxi Stand, the litter-filled space is literally their office. 

The Blessing Taxi sign is posted on a tree that stands inside the private property and taxis line up under the shade of the tree to wait for passengers. Styrofoam cups, food wrappers and empty water bottles could be seen strewn across the property. 

Vaitele Uta resident, Mr Eliapo urged members of the public to life a “tidy life” to avoid littering.

“We must keep Samoa clean, continue to keep Samoa clean because if you are out here throwing trash around in places like this, then that must mean this is how you live in your own family at home. If you live a tidy life in your family then you will live the same way when you go out to public places,” he said. 

“I don’t know who the family is that owns this land. But see, for us, we pick up trash here alongside our taxi stand but then we get so exhausted sometimes because it does not end. What I have to say to the people who throw their trash around here is not something anyone would want to hear because all I have to say to them is that if you don’t know where to place your trash, then put it in your pocket and take it home to make yourself some soup.”

By Tina Mata'afa-Tufele 22 May 2020, 6:00PM

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