Saturday, September 10

Avarua school kids help clean up the world

Here on Rarotonga we’ve just held our ‘Clean up the World’ campaign – Friday 9 and Saturday 10 September. Most of the action took place on Friday fortunately. It’s been warm and dry here for several weeks but Saturday was cold, wet and miserable (cold by local standards where anything less than 22C has people reaching for warm jackets).
The environment service encouraged schools, businesses, community groups and others to get together in groups to clean up a number of public areas. 2011 is the Year of Wetlands so they particularly wanted people to look at places like streams, coastal areas and taro patches. This video is about children from two classes at Avarua primary school; Form 2 wearing red for the occasion and Form 1 in green.
The red team tackled the drainage ditch between Tupapa rugby field and some taro patches. With mud, bottles, cans and paper it was an unsightly mess but the kids did a good job. The rugby (union) season is drawing to a close but let’s hope spectators at this weekend’s game put their rubbish in bins and not in the ditch.
The green team’s area wasn’t so muddy – the stream beds they cleaned were dry but the kids still had plenty to do. Some house-holds burn rubbish there and passers-by toss all manner of things down on an ‘out of sight out of mind’ principle. Unfortunately when the rainy season comes and the streams are full, all the rubbish will be washed down to the harbours and sea shore – not good for our ‘clean, green’ image.
The environment service says that more than 30 teams turned out and a huge amount of rubbish was collected, so congratulations to everyone concerned.
In most other countries the clean-up weekend is 16-18 September so I guess you could say that the Cook Islands is leading the world on this!