Waianae High School Cheerleaders, newly crowned Hawaii State baseball champions, keiki, friends and neighbors teamed up on their day off Friday to fight illegal dumping and the criminals who prey on desolate areas in their backyards. Activists say they are sick and tired of being Oahu's dumping ground. They're fighting for their future and the legacy of their kupuna.
Pacific American Foundation Director, Leslie Kahihikolo, explained why:"Two landfills, a power plant, an industrial park, military installations, industrial pollutant sites impacting a primarily Native Hawaiian and low income community." State Representative Kymberly Pine, who says a reward systen to rid Eva of illegal dumping, worked well in that community. "We don't know who's doing the dumping but we do know we want to change our future by educating the children,"she said.
Abandoned vehicles, heavy appliances and residential garbage are just some of the epidemic eyesore. The Pacific American Foundation uses grant money from the Environmental Protection Agency to provide tools and education. "We're going to partner with them and empower that community to beautify their road to create an environment where people will say 'these people care' so we're not going to bring our rubbish and dump it over here," Kahihikolo said.
The two -mile stretch along Paakea Road borders the Lualualei Naval Magazine and is especially vulnerable to illegal dumping, with witnesses afraid to come forward. Lawmaker Kymberly Pine is calling for a return to a legislative program that rewards residents who report the crime.