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Fiji’s Environment Minister Renews Warning On Littering

“Littering is an offence and anyone found littering will be prosecuted. Littering not only provides a bad image, it is a threat to the environment, it causes flooding, due to blocked waterways and is a health hazard”
25 Feb 2019 10:45
Fiji’s Environment Minister Renews Warning On Littering
Littering not only provides a bad image, it is a threat to the environment, it causes flooding, due to blocked waterways and is a health hazard

Environment Minister Mahendra Reddy has renewed a warning on littering, saying those who continue to breach the law must be prepared to face the consequences.

He made the comment after he saw a group of youths dumping rubbish near the Bailey bridge at Laucala Beach Estate, Nasinu, yesterday.

Mr Reddy said that it was a concern that people were not taking heed of warnings.

“Littering is an offence and anyone found littering will be prosecuted. Littering not only provides a bad image, it is a threat to the environment, it causes flooding, due to blocked waterways and is a health hazard,” he said.

“We have repeatedly reminded members of the public to refrain from throwing rubbish in public places, but if they don’t listen, then they must be ready to face the consequences.

“I also wish to warn corporate bodies that they too will face the full brunt of the law of they also discharge their waste of time in public places.

“If they have gotten away in the past doesn’t mean they will be able to get away in future as well. So, my stern warning is all members of the public must immediately cease throwing any rubbish in public places. Instead help us keep our environment clean and safe.
Penalty Call

Market vendor Simon Tuinidau said the penalty of those found throwing rubbish should be strengthened.

“For the past three years I have been seeing people throwing rubbish here at Bailey bridge. Today (Sunday) Minister Reddy actually saw them throwing rubbish. I think the law should be strengthened so that people think twice before throwing rubbish anywhere they want,” Mr Tuinidau said.

“Most of the time when people come and throw rubbish, they don’t throw it far away and the place starts to stink.

“When there is high tide then the rubbish gets washed away. If we want to keep our environment clean then we must strengthen the penalty.”

Simon Tuinidau points at the river where people dump rubbish at the Bailey bridge, Laucala Beach Estate, Nasinu, on February 24, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Simon Tuinidau points at the river where people dump rubbish at the Bailey bridge, Laucala Beach Estate,
Nasinu, on February 24, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Flooding Fear

Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) has released a statement saying its CEO Jonathan Moore was concerned with the dumping of rubbish in drains on road reserves because this led to flooding after a heavy downpour.

Mr Moore is advising the public not to dump refuse and domestic waste, use undersized culverts or bury drains because these also contribute to the flooding.

Floods caused by private drains are the responsibility of the property owner and when drains are not kept clean, the storm water overflows onto the roads which not only damage the road infrastructure, but exposes the public to waterborne diseases.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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