Sunvoice

It’s time for drastic action against those who blatantly and illegally throw rubbish

Solo and Lavinia Kaumaitotoya of Nadi deserve recognition for their civic pride and courage  in confronting a family allegedly dumping illegally its household rubbish at Rice Mill Rd in Votualevu,
12 Jan 2017 11:34
It’s time for drastic action against those who blatantly and illegally throw rubbish
Editorial

Solo and Lavinia Kaumaitotoya of Nadi deserve recognition for their civic pride and courage  in confronting a family allegedly dumping illegally its household rubbish at Rice Mill Rd in Votualevu, Nadi.

They took pictures of the alleged illegal act and told the alleged offenders what they were doing was wrong. If they have not done it, they should report the offence to the relevant authorities so that appropriate action can be taken.

Mrs Kaumaitotoya rightly says “it is shocking to see some unscrupulous and unethical people with disregard for the environment that live along Rice Mill Road in Votualevu, Nadi, dump their rubbish which is in garbage bags along the roadside.”

She adds: “In Votualevu, there isn’t officially a rubbish pick up service, like many places around Nadi, however, it is only along this road and out of this road on the way to Votualevu College, Nadi, that I have observed this deplorable act. 

“Everywhere else in Nadi, communities have gotten together to organise themselves for garbage collection but in Rice Mill Road, Votualevu, it has been easier to throw on the wayside so much that it seems to have become habit and norm. I noticed this when we moved into the area and began frequently to drive through this particular stretch of road. 

“Shame on those that dump garbage bags of rubbish along the roadside! We have literally caught a couple that had the gall to park alongside the road, literally open up their trunk to dump rubbish only to be caught. 

“This vehicle had a wife, a grandmother and an infant sitting as normal as anything whilst the father  carried out this despicable act of throwing rubbish publicly on our neighbour’s  land.  When they were confronted, they actually argued back – Can you believe it ?” 

To the Kaumaitotoyas we say: “You are right and keep doing it.”

To the alleged offending family we say: “You are wrong. You’ve broken the law and you will be punished for it.”

We hope the authorities will take action against the alleged offenders as a reminder and example that those who violate the litter law will get no sympathy.

Too many people are still dumping their rubbish indiscriminately on roadsides making some of our neighbourhoods dirty and unhealthy.

Littering is a scourge on our community and it is a reflection of our attitude towards a clean environment.

The Kaumaitotoyas have shown us one way to deal with this problem. People must be reminded that those who illegally dump rubbish will face the full brunt of the law. We encourage people to keep an eye on litter bugs and report them immediately to the authority for action.

This problem is so serious that the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, has called on the public to address it. It is a national shame that we cannot afford to treat lightly.

Nadi, for example, is the first place that tourists see when they disembark from their aircraft. Their first impression of this country will be based on its cleanliness. Mr Bainimarama has championed a clean green environment as part of his climate change crusade.

The Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport, Parveen Bala, has jumped on the bandwagon and announced a “name and shame” initiative as a form of deterrent. We have yet to see a list made public.

May be this Votualevu case could spark something – that people will dob in offenders with evidence and the authorities will compile a list and make it public.

A drastic action like this could change public opinion against littering.  

 

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