NEWS

Bala Calls For Action On Rubbish, Environment

Parveen Bala wants the rubbish problem fixed. That was the clear message the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Infrastructure and Transport gave to chief executive officers and senior
22 Aug 2017 11:00
Bala Calls For Action On Rubbish, Environment
Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Bala (with mike), addresses chief executive officers and senior administrators of all municipal councils during their meeting in Suva on August 21, 2017. Photo: Sheldon Chanel

Parveen Bala wants the rubbish problem fixed.

That was the clear message the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Infrastructure and Transport gave to chief executive officers and senior administrators of all municipal councils in a closed-door meeting in Suva yesterday.

This followed a campaign by the Fiji Sun to highlight how we are littering the country.

The meeting was called to plan a way forward for environment-related service delivery, in particular the collection of garbage.

Mr Bala said outside the meeting: “The issue raised by the town and city administrators was that they do attend to the upkeep of the boundaries within the municipalities, but as soon as they get out of the peri-urban and rural settlements, there is no control,” Mr Bala said.

“They were complaining about the rural local authority who they said was not working with them.

“I said to them: let’s not have this blame-game and let’s resort to a solution.

“I have asked the councils to go back and identify peri-urban settlements and villages where we can place large rubbish bins so that the environment department can take control of (rubbish) collection because we have to put a stop to the blame-game, as a result of which the people suffer.”

Mr Bala also urged municipal council members to maintain a good relationship with villages in their area.

“Another thing we have agreed today is for all the municipal councils to go back and have a partnership with all the villages that is within the municipalities.

“In that partnership the council can work together with these villages and help beautify them and maintain an upkeep of the environment.”

He also said the council members received a two-week time frame to present project plans for climate adaption to the ministry.

“The other thing we looked at was climate adaptation.

“There were a lot of suggestions from the municipal councils, the projects that they intend to take, and within two weeks they are supposed to come back and give us the projects that they will undertake.”

Mr Bala said he would be appointing a senior officer from the Ministry of Environment to oversee this project and ensure its success.

“It will not be an office-based role. The officer will have to move around the country and oversee this project and provide the technical expertise (it may require),” he said.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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