Letters

Letter To The Editor 1st, April, 2016

For the love of trees Vivien Counsell Mitchell, Serua   How many of us are horrified at the deplorable destruction of our large trees in urban landscapes? For some time
01 Apr 2016 08:00
Letter To The Editor 1st, April, 2016
Letters to the Editor

For the love of trees

Vivien Counsell Mitchell, Serua

 

How many of us are horrified at the deplorable destruction of our large trees in urban landscapes?

For some time we have watched as mangroves and/or the wetlands that form their natural habitat in the Lami area have been sacrificed in the name of development. We are now seeing tragic destruction of the magnificent trees at Albert Park in Suva, at Shirley Park in Lautoka and elsewhere. That it should be by human hand, of an asset that should be protected, not destroyed makes it even more tragic. Trees have never been more important to the planet, and to us, its inhabitants.

Now that we are truly feeling the effects of climate change how is it that some of us still fails to see (or perhaps choosing not to) how important trees are, particularly in urban areas?  I, for one, find no appeal in an urban jungle without the aesthetic appeal of large trees, not to mention their importance in carbon dioxide/oxygen exchange.

How really beautiful are the huge rain-trees in Ratu Sukuna Park?  Are they at risk, I wonder?

The Albert Park development plan, as presented to the public, showed trees. Did we all make the mistaken assumption that these were the trees already there? Now it appears, if in fact trees really are a part of the design concept, any greenery/landscaping will be new plants instead. Why on earth would anyone in their right mind cut down large trees and replace them with small ones?

I’d like to respectfully remind the Suva City Council that they are responsible for the assets owned by the people they represent. They do not own these assets. It is not for them to decide to remove large trees without public consultation, accompanied by a compelling argument for their case. I repeat,  ‘compelling’.

Given the importance to the urban environment of large trees, our town planners, architects, landscapers must be required to incorporate existing large trees into any new plans for urban development.

The Albert Park trees were at the periphery, so why were they decimated? I know I’m not alone in my outrage over the wholesale destruction of these trees. A great many cities overseas protect their trees and take proper care of them. I do not wish to hear excuses (whether fact or fiction) that they were diseased. There is an abundance of evidence that in urban areas overseas trees are properly cared for, and diseases are treated. Tree surgeons can prune or remove sections of trees without killing them off.

It is long past time we established an urban tree protection scheme, and enforced it. We may be the victims, environmentally speaking, of the actions of first world countries, but that cannot excuse any contribution we may make towards global warming ourselves.

No more ring-barking or cutting down of large trees in Suva, Lautoka or any other urban area in this country, when with a little professional imagination they can be incorporated into plans for development.

I strongly urge, beg even, anyone who feels similarly, to speak out loudly and continually until we see a change in attitude and law.

 

Homeless problem

Narayan Reddy, Lautoka

 

I am beginning to realise why people prefer to sleep at bus stands and on the streets.

Some of them are served breakfast as early as 5am, which consists of boiled eggs, half loaves of bread with butter, muffins and a hot cup of coffee or tea. Some usually have buffet lunch and dinner which is provided by some ‘Good Samaritans’ and religious groups.

While speaking to so of them early yesterday morning I found out some prefer not to do any work because they usually beg for money that will provide them with liquor, grog and even glue to get high on.

With food and drinks provided these so-called street people prefer not to do any work. With such attitude the long-aged problem of beggars and street kids will be an everlasting problem.

 

 

Road accidents, deaths

Indar Jit, Navua

 

The increasing number of road accidents and deaths on our roads is a matter of great concern.

The law enforcement agencies have been raising awareness and issuing warnings on road safety, but how much of their advice and warnings are followed remains to be answered.

Looking back from year 2010 to April 2015, the report released by the law enforcement agency shows that 249 lives were lost because of road accidents. Out of these 249 cases, 141 involved speeding. In November last year there were 60 road deaths. Most of these deaths were related speeding as well.

In the first two week this year there were four road deaths recorded. The number keeps increasing and people are less bothered about road safety.

During the Easter Holidays, the Fiji Police Force booked 556 traffic related offences, out of which 424 were booked for speeding. A number of drivers did spend their Easter Holidays inside the Police cell.

The Fiji Roads Authority has signs advising drivers, how fast they can drive their vehicles. Majority of the roads are two-way traffic. Driving beyond the speed limit signs, it is obvious that accident will occur.

As said by the chief executive officer of the Land Transport Authority, there are still many idiot drivers out there. As said, after the accidents, vehicles can be repaired but if one’s life is lost because of road accidents, the life will be lost forever.

We all must understand that road safety is designed for the safety of everyone. Pedestrians and the drivers should be vigilant when using the road. Driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding and careless driving have caused many accidents.

The law enforcement agency is trying its bets to tackle the problem first-hand. However, looking at the figures released by Police, one has to agree that many of the drivers need to change their attitude.

They have to understand that the safety of the public on our roads remains entirely in their hands.

Many of these drivers need to change their attitude and poor habits.

 

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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