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By Moffat Mamu

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, June 6) – More than a month ago, Honiara City was filled with flames and smoke because of the April rioting and looting, but yesterday a massive clean up campaign transformed Honiara, Solomon Islands, into a cleaner city.

Thousands of people from all works of life, the very young to the elderly armed with knives, rakes, brush knives, shovels, lawn mows and grass cutters took to the streets along Honiara to take part in the clean up.

Solomon Star was on the road yesterday to witness the hard working Honiara residents working from White River to Burnscreek.

The positive turn out indicated that people have taken heed of the request and came out in numbers.

Some of the firms wore uniforms as they lined up the roads to brush, weed, rake, burn and collect rubbish.

The overgrown grasses were leveled yesterday.

In fact the weather forecast yesterday was also good for working outdoors. Therefore, the volunteers who participated in the clean up did so with fun and excitement instead of feeling tired and weary.

Along the highway, smoke was everywhere as small heaps of rubbish were burnt.

Even school children came out to help their parents in the clean up process. Kids were with smiles and laughter as they rake and collect rubbish.

A young girl Gwen Gideon from Lau Valley, who participated in yesterday’s clean up campaign said she really enjoyed cleaning up because not only was it fun but also it helps to make Honiara city clean.

"I think such clean up campaign should be held often so that people can come out and work together to beautify our city," Gwen said.

The clean up campaign yesterday was part of the World Environment Clean up Honiara Day and it was supported by the Australian High Commission, RAMSI and Patrick Logistics.

Many people came out very early in the morning to start cleaning and by 7 a.m. groups and groups of people are already lining the streets.

Rubbish collected was placed in plastic bags on the roadsides to be picked up by trucks.

Australian High Commissioner Patrick Cole had earlier stated that his office is proud once again to be able to support World Environment Clean up Honiara Day.

"Australia is keen to protect the environment and to support a healthy community environment. Each year, Australia strongly supports the ‘Clean Up Australia’ movement and its international off shot, the ‘Clean up the World’ campaign," he said last week.

Honiara Beautification Committee Chairlady Keithie Saunders was seen yesterday mingling and cleaning up along the Kukum Highway with a group of youths.

Another activity taking place yesterday was the painting of new rubbish bins.

All children aged between 5-12 years, interested in painting designs on rubbish bins, packed the Rove Children’s Adventure Park to put their artistic skills on the drums.

Children were given paints, brushes and protective clothing to paint colourful patterns on the bins.

The bins will be distributed around the city.

June 7, 2006

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