Paulina Quintao – The Director of health from Dili municipality, Agustinha Seguerado is concerned with the growing waste problem within Dili that could harm communities' public health especially the health of children.
She said they have good coordination with the authorities from Dili municipality on diseases prevention, in particular provide to health promotion education to Community Leaders and the community by the Dili District Authority is responsible for waste management in the capital.
She said across Dili municipality, diseases including diarrhoea and dengue are endemic and a key contributing factor is the unclean environment that fosters vectors to develop and transmit diseases to humans.
"We also provide recommendations to the authorities to consider the rubbish issue everywhere, but they say the issue is the community lack of awareness," she added.
She said efforts are being made to go down together to the sukus and raise awareness at the community level about the negative impact of throwing rubbish arbitrarily and the importance of diseases prevention.Meanwhile, the head of the Surveillance and Environment Health Department at the Ministry of Health Jose Moniz said inefficient waste management causes vectors to propagate and spread diseases in communities.
He said the Ministry of Health is not responsible for waste management. "We provide health promotion education to communities about the impact of waste to public health. On issues of waste management that is up to the relevant institutions to consider it," he said.
Deputy Dili Authority Administrator Zeca Smith acknowledged that rubbish is a major issue but that this is caused by communities that continue to throw rubbish 24 hours a day while sanitation does not have adequate capacity to address the issue.
He said in 2015, based on the Law Decree 33/2009 on sanitation, the government issued the schedule of throwing rubbish from 4 until 7 am and not at other times, but in reality, people just throw rubbish anytime they feel not respecting the regulations in place.
"To control people to adhere to the schedule we should create an adequate system, such as CCTV installation. If we just place the personnel to control this issue, it will be very difficult," he said.
He also acknowledged that the placement of the rubbish bins in the public spaces is not adequate to accumulate trash produced but that is all the government can do.
He the waste situation within Dili will be resolved if communities and shops follow the schedule to make it easy to sanitation teams to collect rubbish.