My Say: More Join Anti-Litter, Anti-Pollution Drive

This is an edited version of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say in the 4 The Record programme on FBC TV last night Many people, young and old, are talking about keeping
31 Jul 2017 11:00
My Say: More Join Anti-Litter, Anti-Pollution Drive
This is the truck and driver spotted illegally dumping rubbish at Nabou, Nadroga, on July 29, 2017. Photo: Mike Jamieson
  • This is an edited version of Nemani Delaibatiki’s My Say in the 4 The Record programme on FBC TV last night

Many people, young and old, are talking about keeping our pristine environment clean from rubbish and pollution.

They are joining the Fiji Sun anti-litter campaign to stop people from rubbishing our beautiful country.

From as young as nine-year-old Qusai Jiwanji of Suva, people are concerned that we have a shameful and pathetic attitude towards keeping our environment clean.

Qusai, a Suva International School student, attended the Speaker’s Debate on tourism this week at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva and asked: “What is the Government doing about pollution?”

Tourism Minister Faiyaz Koya responded: “We are doing a lot.”

The Government is doing a lot but then the people are not matching it. In fact we are woefully way behind the Government initiatives. The littering in public has reached unprecedented proportions. Despite our anti-litter laws, people defiantly dump their rubbish wherever they like. The other day the Fiji Sun tracked down an alleged offender. His personal documents, found at the site, gave him away.  He came from outside the neighbourhood where the rubbish was dumped. When he was confronted by phone he said he knew nothing about it and how his personal papers were at the dump. He was lucky the angry residents did not catch him. He  took off quickly as he came in and again he was using the cover of darkness. If he is reading this article today he better not try it again because he may not be lucky this time.

The residents throw up their arms in despair. It seems no one cares about our environment. But that’s not true. I am sure more people do care than those who do not care about our environment.

Take for example Adam Wade. He is one of those who do care. The general manager of the Vuda Marine, in Lautoka, rolled up his sleeves, mobilised a group of do-gooders, and cleaned up two illegal roadside dumps between Vuda and Nadi International Airport. He and his friends just could not stand driving past these dumps daily. So they did something about it.

They were followed by  Mike Jamieson, Evergreen International Fiji Manager Security Western Division. He captured on camera a waste management company truck tipping rubbish at a secluded area in Nabou, Nadroga on Saturday.

The driver involved has been sent home pending an investigation after he picked up the rubbish again on orders from the company. The company involved said there was no directive to dump the rubbish at that spot. It must be commended for taking those steps to rectify the situation. This incident is a warning to individuals and commercial organisations not to dump their rubbish illegally.

Mr Jamieson says it is sad to see a company and an employee paid to help keep Fiji clean, yet cuts corners to save money and makes our environment  and Fiji look dirty.

So he did something about it. He took photos and allowed the Fiji Sun to use them. That’s what we all need to do and then try to educate those who are on the other side of the divide to change their mentality.

We need to create public awareness.

The plastic bag tax and the move away from fossil fuel to cleaner energy will go a long way in ensuring a cleaner environment. When our cars, trucks, buses, factories and power stations stop emitting dark plumes into the atmosphere, then we will know that we have made a significant progress.

Last week national stakeholders met  in Suva to discuss Fiji’s plans to achieve its National Determined Contribution (NDC) target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 per cent.

To reach this benchmark Fiji hoped to achieve close to 100 per cent renewable electrical energy and have general improvements in energy efficiency across the whole economy by 2030, which is our collective commitment to the Paris Agreement.

The Ministry of Economy, with assistance from the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), is taking the lead in formulating a strategy to help Fiji achieve its objectives.

These efforts represent the nation’s ultimate endeavour to meet Goal 13 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), around which the country’s COP23 presidency is centred. This is the Government leading the way for all of us.

The onus is on us to get on board and back the Government initiatives by doing our part where we live. Everyone is a stakeholder. Families, schools, faith groups, non-governmental organisations (NGO), communities, social groups, villages and settlements must join hands in this campaign.  At the same time, we need to relook at our anti-litter enforcement.

It’s obvious it’s not working as it should be and we must tighten it. Let’s learn from Singapore. 

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Total Excellium
Fiji Sun Instagram