Cleaning rubbish to beat rise in fever

Saturday June 29, 2019 Written by Published in Local
Bank of the Cook Islands staff picking up rubbish at the social centre in Arorangi. BCI/19062722 Bank of the Cook Islands staff picking up rubbish at the social centre in Arorangi. BCI/19062722

The rise of dengue fever has given new momentum to community clean-up programmes.

 

Bank of the Cook Islands marked its 18th birthday this week by getting staff out cleaning up the Social Centre park and beach area at Nikao; the Bank of the South Pacific did a similar tidy-up three weeks ago.

BCI marketing manager Ina Davies said they were driven by the number of posts and comments on social media pages about the quantities of litter around the islands, combined with the soaring numbers of dengue cases. The mosquitoes that carry dengue breed in pools of stagnant water, which is why it’s so important to avoid leaving rubbish lying around with water pooling in it.

So BCI adopted the #trashtag challenge. “Picking up rubbish in the community was part of the challenge that’s gone viral online, it is something we observed that needs more work from the people, the community and we went out and took this challenge,” said Davies.

Divided in to two teams, their clean-up included shorelines, social centres and back-roads.

Davies said they found empty bottles, alcohol cans and household items that could hold stagnant water. The work was part of the bank’s 18 years of service celebration, she said, and they wanted to give back to the community.

The bank has installed a mural surround on the Vaka ATMs, by Foodland in Avarua. The mural features colourful images of BCI people in the community, sports, culture and education.

The team had also been volunteering at the Rising Stars Championship rugby and netball champs. “Every year we base our birthday on a theme, and this year it’s what we value most – our people,” she said.

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