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COMMUNITY PROBLEM SOLVING PROJECT

Project E: Roadside Advertisements in Brunei By students: Aizen Syamsiah Bte Hj Puasa, Roslina Binti Awang Ambun, Irma Suriani Bte Hj Abd Majid and Rosalfina Bte Hj Ramli Problems: Many local and international companies choose to erect eye-catching advertisements alongside busy Brunei roads. Junctions where people in cars wait for traffic lights to change and allow them to proceed are especially cluttered with advertisements, each one bigger and brighter than the last. A lot of these roadside advertisements are made of are non-recyclable and non-biodegradable materials. Many advertisements are distracting to drivers, shadowing road and traffic signs. Some are outdated but simply abandoned because of the difficulties and costs associated with taking down the advertisements. Some are removed, but are not disposed of properly. A lot of money is spent on advertisements as they generate not just additional sales and profits, but also publicity. This is an unsustainable practice. The main underlying problem lies in the fact that there is no central control over the amount and quality of advertisements in Brunei.

Figure 1. An abandoned and outdated advertisement.

Figure 2. Too crowded adverts in one area.

COMMUNITY PROBLEM SOLVING PROJECT

Figure 3. Improper disposal of used advertisements. . Possible solutions: Individuals and companies need to be introduced to alternative methods of advertisement. Roadside advertisements are often made of bright long-lasting plastic. These need to be replaced by advertisements constructed of other materials that are easier to dispose and broken down. Digital billboards and computerised electronic flip boards display more than one advertisement, thereby reducing the amount of waste generated when the advertising period comes to an end. Alternative advertising media such as television, the internet and radio create awareness effectively but leave no permanent physical waste. Authorities should enforce rules and regulations on the amount of advertisements there are, as well as the position and quality of these advertisements.

Figure 4. Digital billboard- This kind of board is like a giant television which can display many advertisements at the same time.

COMMUNITY PROBLEM SOLVING PROJECT

Figure 5. Flipboard-computerised boards which flip simultaneously every 2 minutes to show 5 different pictures at different times.

Actions taken: Project members wrote to the Town & Country Planning Department to encourage the use of the internet and other non-physical media to display or announce any advertisements. They encouraged the enforcement the existing regulations on advertisements along roadside, and asked the Department to urge the public to remove the outdated and abandoned advertisements. In addition, project members wrote an opinion page to the press regarding their concerns about roadside advertisements and problems that the advertisements can cause to the drivers. The published letter encouraged organisations and government departments to consider their budgets carefully and spend money on more worthwhile causes than on advertisements. It brought to light other alternative methods of advertising that could be employed when advertising was essential.

COMMUNITY PROBLEM SOLVING PROJECT

Figure 6. Newspaper cutting about the hazard of roadside advertisement (Published in Borneo Bulletin: Saturday 28th October, Page 4)