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Cameras To Be Installed To Catch Environmental Law Breakers

Residents along Koronivia warned about dangers and health hazards of not disposing waste properly.
29 Aug 2020 11:13
Cameras To Be Installed To Catch Environmental Law Breakers
Koronivia residents along Kabutri Road at the Shiv Krishna Hall during the community meeting with the Department of Environment on August 27, 2020. Photo: Laiseana Nasiga.

The Ministry of Waterways and Environment will soon be installing cameras across major hotspot areas where people do not practice proper waste management practices.
This is part of the ministry’s efforts in ensuring residents abide by the Environment Management Waste Disposal and Recycling Regulations 2007 act, which aims to provide residents with a safe living environment. The installation of cameras will monitor waste management activities in these areas.
Permanent Secretary for Environment Joshua Wycliffe has confirmed that cameras have already been installed in one area that has become a hotspot for improper waste management practices.
He said the importance of proper waste management practices needs to be shared across communities as the Department of Environment is coming down hard on environment law breakers.

Outreach
The Department of Environment has been consistently receiving complaints from the Koronivia community along Kabutri Road, of waste mismanagement practices, such as burning of tyres by the roadside.
The seriousness of these complaints have even reached the offices of both the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General.
Located along the gravel dusty Kabutri Road in Koronivia is the farming community where some have become accustomed to burning waste as a form of getting rid off unwanted waste materials.
This, according to Mr Wycliffe, is a harmful way of disposing waste.
Mr Wycliffe recently met with the community members reminding them of the importance of proper waste disposal.
“When waste is burnt, the smoke that we breathe becomes poisonous and toxic; it goes into the lungs of your own family, neighbours and people in this area,” he said.
“The constitution of Fiji allows the freedom for everybody to have access to clean fresh air and if we put smoke and poison into the atmosphere, we are intruding into everybody else’s freedom of breathing in fresh air.
“Unless it is done in the premises of a facility that has a permit to cover the resulting emission, which simply means if you don’t have the permit to burn tyres, you cannot burn tyres,” he said.
Under the 2007 act, a person who burns tyres could face up to a $10,000 fine.
Mr Wycliffe advised the community members to come together to keep the community clean.
He suggested that the community form an association or a group to engage with a rubbish collecting company to collect waste on a daily basis.

Municipality councils
Currently the Nausori Municipality Council collects waste materials from the Koronivia community every Wednesday.
Community advisory counsellor Satish Kumar said the community was not well aware of such an environment law which was why the residents continued burning their waste materials.
“We are so thankful that the Department of Environment is here to talk to us because all this while we have been burning coconut leaves and rubbish on our property but did not know that we need to get a permit for that,” Mr Kumar said.
“Now that we know, it changes the way we think and dispose of our waste materials and now we understand why it is important not to burn waste because it’s causing air pollution.”

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: laiseana.nasiga@fijisun.com.fj



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