SUNBIZ

Ship Owner Takes Lead Role

An inter-island ferry operator has set aside $50,000 to lead a cleanup campaign on cyclone-hit Koro Island. Goundar Shipping Limited (GSL) is lobbying for public support as plans for a
04 May 2016 08:11
Ship Owner Takes Lead Role

An inter-island ferry operator has set aside $50,000 to lead a cleanup campaign on cyclone-hit Koro Island.

Goundar Shipping Limited (GSL) is lobbying for public support as plans for a major environmental recuperation process gets underway.

Company owner and managing director, George Goundar, who hails from Koro, said the devastation left behind by Tropical Cyclone Winston continues to be a worry – especially the environmental impact. 

Mr Goundar said Government and other organizations have done a lot in helping villagers get back on their feet.

He said it is now their duty to give back to the community they serve, instead of total reliance on Government assistance.

 

CALL FOR SUPPORT

Mr Goundar said the purpose of this initiative is to reach out to all villages in Koro and its people who are still recovering months after the severe cyclone.

He confirmed his newest vessel, the MV Lomaiviti Princess III, will to be used in this trip.

He said when he visited Koro after TC Winston, he was overwhelmed with sorrow after seeing firsthand the state of the island.

“It’s depressing to go and see the real state of Koro. What can I do to help improve the situation in Koro, was a question I often asked myself,” Mr Goundar said.

 “We need to work with Government to ensure that the environment is safe, clean and healthy for people to return,” he said.

 

MONEY NOT AN ISSUE

While other operators may find this an extra operational cost, Mr Goundar said money is not an issue.

Working towards fulfilling a promise he made to his fellow villagers, the cleanup campaign is a necessary social obligation.

Mr Goundar said that he has been in contact with the Roko Tui Lomaiviti to organise the cleanup campaign.

“Money is nothing to me. I just want to serve the people back in Koro after what they went through,” he said.

The road conditions on the island is still an issue, he added.

While no date has been set for this proposed trip, Mr Goundar said he is willing to provide the logistics to carry out the work.

 

SUPPORT FROM OTHERS

Mr Goundar said he has made arrangements with some companies who are willing to help in areas like the transportation of corrugated material, timber and other materials that needs to be discarded.

All these materials will be brought back to mainland Suva for discarding.

Mr Goundar said he plans to carry out this initiative this month, before he leaves for overseas.

Apart from the cleanup campaign, the company is intending to provide discounted fare to all those travelling to and from Koro for the next six months. Mr Goundar has called on support from those islanders living in Suva and other parts of the country to join his company in support towards the cleanup initiative.



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