Issue No. 35/2020 – Wednesday, 16 September 2020 (Kitiona Tausi)
The Minister of Local Government and Agriculture, Hon. Katepu Laoi officially opened the official opening of the first World Clean Up Week 2020 in Tuvalu. In his opening address, Hon.Laoi said “the actual date falls on 19th September 2020 but the Ministry has decided to have the celebration held this week and decided on Wednesday, 16 September for the official opening of the World Clean Up Week 2020.
He said, “one of today’s focus is on reducing, reusing and recycling of waste. I do believe that that these three requirements cannot be achieved if there is no love and if humans fail to care for God’s creation. It is our duty entrusted by God to care for his creation, his world and his Eden that he created for us, to ensure that it is safe and thriving.
“Humans have too many needs, their struggle for power, countries’s struggle for supremacy, but he is only a man that God created to care and to look after his world and to beautify it with his righteous deeds, and that is the beauty of the world that God has desired for his creation.
Attending the celebration were Cabinet Ministers, the Australian High Commssioner, Her Excellency Karyn Murray, Island Community leaders, religious leaders, CEOs of corporation, Non- Governmental Organizations, private sector and government dignitaries.
This morning ceremony began with an opening devotion conducted by Rev. Elder Penitusi Taeia who appropriated his message to the theme of the Day, “A world without waste: Plastic Chain”.
Rev Taeia challenged Tuvalu to have a strong voice because its world is affected by the impacts of human greed, emission of gases to the atmosphere which cause global warming and the many impacts of climate change which include the frequency and more disastrous cyclones affecting Tuvalu.
He also challenged the audience if there was a time in our life when we feel the spirit of respect and love for God’s creation, care for his world and to return Eden to its original status when God planted it.
Rev Taeia also commended and praised the idea of reducing, reusing and recycling of waste inorder to develop new resources.
After the opening devotion, Minister of Home Affairs and Agriculture, Hon. Katepu Laoi was invited to deliver the opening address of the Day.
Hon. Laoi first explained the origin of this world clean up campaign saying, “it started on 19 September, 2008 in a small town in North Europe, Estonia, and there were about 500,000 people participated in this clean up campaign in that town. That campaign was held for 5 days.
“From this event, derived the thought to create this kind of program in all countries of the world but for one day instead of five days.
“It was only after 11 years, this initiative began spreading in all countries in the world and there were more than one million participants including world leaders who were interested in the programme.”
Hon. Laoi challenged the audience saying: “if other countries can do it, why can’t we do it.” Referring to the theme “A World Withour Waste: Plastic Chain”, he said “plastic has become a problem to Tuvalu, and is known as a kind of waste that destruct the planet.”
He applead to the government, corporations, local governments to respond to such disastrous situations.
“Although our contributions to the World Clean Up Day is very minimal, it is our duty to protect our environment. And that all communities, organizations, families and indivduals are reqquired to work together in the protectiion of the environment.
Before concluding his address, Hon. Laoi also launched the Department of Waste’ website which was one of the Department’s goals.
After the opening address, there were entertinments provided by two preschools on the capital, the Assembly of God’s Pre-schoool and the Vaiaku Pre-school.
The Day’s programme shifted to the Tulakiiga Falekaupule where refreshment was served and guests were invited to see how plastics bottles can be turned into resources.
It was at the Tulakiiga that the cake of the World Clean Up Day in Tuvalu was cut by the Prime Minister, Hon. Kausea Natano and Hon. Katepu Laoi.