Manumalo HS 'adopts' Pala Lagoon
What initially started off as a low key pick-a-thon for Manumalo High School students turned into something bigger last Saturday when the school announced that it will 'adopt' the Pala Lagoon in Tafuna as part of its contribution to the Keep American Samoa Beautiful (KASB) program, spearheaded by the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency (AS-EPA).
The Flames, along with underclassmen, teachers, and members of Manumalo Baptist Church started picking up trash in the area across the street from the Tafuna Correctional Facility (TCF), heading towards the Lions Park playground.
Altogether, more than 20 trash bags full of plastic water bottles and shopping bags, styrofoam plates, clothes, soda cans, and other debris were collected. Chaperones told Samoa News that while the area appears trash-free from the road, the coastline is littered with items that are assumed to be thrown there by people who frequent Lions Park for recreation.
The area features benches and tables that are often used by people to eat lunch and shoot the breeze. Although there are trash bins set up in various locations, people are still throwing garbage in the ocean, evident during last Saturday's clean-up.
Since it was launched, the KASB program has gained support from villages, church groups, schools, businesses, families, and individuals who have 'adopted' certain areas in the territory to maintain.
Participation in the program means regular clean-ups are carried out and data forms have to be filled out to document the types and quantities of solid waste that are collected during the clean-ups
Last year, the Top 10 most littered items, as reported by AS-EPA, were beverage cans, followed by plastic beverage bottles, food wrappers, cigarette butts, styrofoam cups/plates, plastic bags, caps/lids, cups/plates/forks/knives, cigarette filters, and clothing/shoes.
AS-EPA director Ameko Pato said last year,“We have to work together as a community to solve the problem of littering and the KASB program serves to facilitate community, business and government collaboration in addressing this serious problem”.