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Papua New Guinea
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Fight continues to keep cities, towns clean

REPORTS out from Lae indicate that the city is seeing a drop in petty crimes.
City officials say this is the result of its law and order committee working in partnership with the police and community.
The law and order committee partnership programme was launched last month with members (who are volunteers) assigned to locations within the city conducting awareness on keeping the place clean, free and safe for all to enjoy.
One initiative is the total ban on betel nuts in the city’s main areas. Chewers caught face a massive K1000 spot fine.
The betel nut ban and a fine on littering is already law in Port Moresby and should be enforced.
Vendors selling in between traffic lights must be stopped.
If they continue, they must be arrested. Even vendors trading at bus stops must be stopped.
These areas have become home to offenders of petty crimes like bag-snatching, harassment, hold-ups and, to some extent, assault which have led to both injury and death.
The perpetrators mingle with the crowd and are difficult to identify. In the end, the vendors get the blame.
Those who are making the effort to keep the towns and cities clean of betel nut stains and filth should be commended.
It is an eyesore.
It is unpleasant to see red spittle over pavements, bitumen, flower gardens and everywhere.
For Port Moresby, a lot of effort has been put into changing the image of the city, hence the National Capital District Commision should now make it compulsory for all vendors, especially on the streets, to get a licence.
It is important to regulate all trade to ensure that the citizens are not adversely affected by health hazards and nuisance due to improper trade.
Many will criticise the move because it will affect how some people earn their living.
In Lae and Port Moresby, as the law went into effect, many realised that the city was clean.
The law is there to prohibit the sale and chewing of betel nut in public places but enforcement continues to be the biggest challenge.
It is time for all who want to trade in a public area to apply for a licence from city and town authorities.
Licences will help city and town authorities monitor the vendors.
The licence is the permission granted by the authority to an individual or group to run a business.

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