9 Sep 2013

Ban on betel nut in Port Moresby unrealistic

6:56 pm on 9 September 2013

A former Papua New Guinea betelnut vendor says a ban of the nut in Port Moresby is unrealistic because so many people rely on selling it as their only source of income.

The governor of the National Capital District, Powes Parkop, has announced there will be a complete ban on the sale and consumption of betelnut in the city's streets from October.

Martyn Namorong says because betelnut is addictive, the market will remain.

He says other policies enforced against betelnut in the city over the years have not deterred anyone from selling or chewing.

"The governor doesn't have the capacity to enforce his plan. Because of its economic importance and the livelihood of many families there is no way they are going to give up their livelihood - it is unrealistic to think that Betel nut will disappear from Port Moresby from October onwards."

Mr Namorong says such a ban highlights how out of touch elite Papua New Guineans are from the reality of the lives of many people.