Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare last Friday launched the “Safe & Green Games” Strategy with a call for cooperation amongst all Honiara residents to lend a hand in cleaning and beautifying Honiara city in preparation for the 2023 Pacific Games in November.
More than 2000 residents representing all sectors within the city including the government, private sector, churches and civil society groups, Honiara City Council wards, schools and the general public paraded through the main streets of the city on Friday to celebrate the start of the cleanup and beautification campaign on Friday 3 March.
The launching programme was followed by a general clean-up around the city from White River zone in the West to Henderson zone in the East on Saturday 4 March and concluded on Sunday 5 March with inter-denominational church service on Sunday 5 March.
The Safe and Green Games strategy has two simple objectives and that is first to provide a safe and secure environment, in our host city and support the Government to successfully host the 2023 Games, and second to beautify our capital city to achieve a long-lasting legacy that lives on beyond the games for the benefit of our future generations.
In his speech, Prime Minister Sogavare said he is incredibly happy and excited to witness the turn-out from students, youths and fellow citizens, residents and partners in Honiara at Lawson Tama stadium including those listening and following the event online from the Provinces and overseas.
“Let us work together. Let us share responsibilities. This is our city. This is our country. It is our collective responsibility to beautify our city,” Sogavare said.
From the 12 of November to 3 December this year, Honiara will receive the largest-ever number of overseas visitors of more than 8,000 people to our shores in three short weeks. Almost 5,000 will be athletes and officials from all participating countries and the rest will be relatives, supporters and tourists.
These eight thousand plus people will broadcast to the world their impressions and perceptions of the country, especially their impression of Honiara city.
Already Honiara is regarded as one of the ‘dirtiest cities in our region’ with rubbish and betelnut stains everywhere.
“I am sure you will agree with me, that this is not the image of our country we wish our visitors to take back with them when they depart from our shores after the 2023 Pacific Games,”
“Instead, we want each of our visitors to have a pleasant and memorable experience of our country and our capital city from the moment they step off their flights on arrival until the moment they board their flights to take them home.
“To achieve this, we must work together in the next 262 days to ensure our city is safe, green, and clean,” the Prime Minister said.
The Safe and Green Games strategy is ‘a whole of society,’ plan that provides a platform for the national government, the Honiara City Council, the Guadalcanal Provincial government, the private sector, churches, schools, civil society organizations, community groups and individual households to ‘unite as one team’ for one common purpose, to clean and keep our city safe, and clean’ as the host city of the Games and beyond.