9 Jun 2008

Portaloos to be installed on Papua New Guinea's Kokoda Track to combat pollution

3:14 pm on 9 June 2008

Shane Jacobsen, better known as the Australian portable toilet maintainer Kenny from the movie of the same name, will be the face of a new project to install toilets along the Kokoda Track.

The project, dubbed Crappers for Kokoda, is an initiative of the Kokoda Track Foundation, an Australian organisation established in 2003 to promote the well-being of local communities living alongside the track.

A Foundation board member, Dr Stephen Wearing, says the increase in tourism to the scene of the World War II battle between Japanese and Australian forces in PNG has polluted the 96km route with rubbish and excrement.

He says the PNG Government's Kokoda Track Authority is actually sending walking patrols through to help clean it up and they're now encouraging trek operators to have their clients carry their own rubbish out with them.

But Dr Wearing says the toilets, which will convert human waste into organic compost and usable soil, aren't only necessary for tourists.

He says local schools are also in dire need of the new facilities.