Paulina Quintao – The Chief of Suku of the Suku of Kaikoli, in the administrative post of Vera Cruz, Dili municipality, Hipolito Marques, said drains are full of rubbish because the government has not created a proper rubbish control and management system.
He said to address this issue, the government needs to implement the decree law no. 33/2008 about hygiene and public order and on the management plan for waterways across Dili to reduce the risk of flooding during the rainy season.
He is concerned with this issue, because the law was created 10 years ago, but has not been implemented since, and the community continues to throw rubbish and build houses on top of drains and river sites arbitrarily.
He said to address this issue the law must be implemented, but so far, local authorities just talk without action, leaving it to the community and their conscience or not to do something.
"This law is strong, but its implementation is weak," he said in his office, in Kaikoli, Dili.
He said the community only cleans in front of their own houses but the sewers are national waterways and as such under the care of the government for its management.
He has grave concerns with the amount of rubbish pilling up, not just domestic rubbish but also commercial, so the government needs to implement a rubbish management system that is efficient. It could also require companies to contribute to rubbish management efforts.
On the other hand, the Secretary of State for Environment (SEA), Demetrio de Amaral de Carvalho, said there are two sources of waste in Dili, domestic and commercial.
He said SEA and the Dili Municipality Authority have conducted an inspection to the shops to remind them to create certain conditions to manage the rubbish they produce and to separate organic, metal, and plastic waste.
"Waterways and rivers are not rubbish bins. It is an environmental crime to throw rubbish in the waterways and rivers because this can harm other life," he said. He added that it can lead also to flooding during the rainy season.
He informed that there is a legal basis or a decree law about hygiene and public order no. 33/2008 and that a sanction will be applied to anyone in the community who throws rubbish and builds houses arbitrarily. He added that environmental decree law 26/2012 about environmental crimes is also not well-implemented.
He said finally that SEA continues to make efforts to socialize and inform the community down to the suku level and he hopes that one day the community will change their behaviour from disrespecting the environment to taking care of the environment, including with domestic waste treatment.