NATION

‘If You Fell Into Suva Harbour You’d Need Pencilin Shot’

Mr Naidu says the storm water drains are being used for sewerage disposal as the greater Central Business District in Suva does not have a proper sewer line.
22 Sep 2020 09:40
‘If You Fell Into Suva Harbour You’d Need Pencilin Shot’
Key workshop people (from left): Salanieta Koro, Professor Vijay Naidu, Donna Hoerder, Shailendra Singh, Geraldine Panapasa, Eliki Drugunalevu and Sheldon Chanel. Photo: Shalveen Chand

The Department of Environment says laws for disposal of waste and what should enter storm drains are available and its focus now is taking violators to task.

The comments follow from findings outlined during the Internews, Earth Journalism Network, USP Journalism, Environmental Journalism Workshop at the University of the South Pacific yesterday.

USP senior academic and chief guest Professor Vijay Naidu said: “If you fell in the waters of Suva Harbour and Laucala Bay, you would need a penicillin injection.”

He made the comment as he referred to the amount of E.coli bacteria and other waste present in the area.

Professor Naidu said various USP research into the Suva Harbour, Laucala Bay and Walu Bay have come up with data showing high amounts of heavy metal, tributyltin and fecal matter as a result of sewage being pumped into the ocean.

“The public who use the water around the Suva Bay area for fishing have little or no idea about the state of the lagoon and what needs to be done to preserve such a wonderful resource for the people of Suva,” he said.

Mr Naidu says the storm water drains are being used for sewerage disposal as the greater Central Business District in Suva does not have a proper sewer line.

Matakite Maata, from USP’s School of Chemical and Biological Sciences, presented data on the high amount of heavy metals in Suva waters.

He said most of these heavy metal were absorbed by molluscs such as shellfish and entered the food chain.

His recommendations include treatment of wastewater before being discharged, removal of derelict ships, appropriate collection of waste from ship repair and overall improvement of solid waste management.

He added that while the Lami dump was now not being used, the heavy metal dumped there was sipping into the harbour.

The aim of the workshop, a partnership between Internews, Earth Journalism Network and USP Journalism, was to create awareness through journalists who can simplify scientific researches.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

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