Waste management a national issue

The Fiji Times:

Friday, 31 October 2014

LOCAL Government, Housing and Environment permanent secretary Samuela Namosimalua says waste management is a pressing national issue that needs immediate attention.

He shared his concerns at the launch of Sigatoka's rehabilitated landfill site on Wednesday afternoon, saying the issue was shared by other small island developing states in the Pacific region.

"Waste at the moment is being either thrown in the open dump sites, illegally ending up in the sea or in unused land, in the streets or being burnt in piles in the back yard," he said.

"Burning municipal waste is a major health problem with some toxins in the smoke being carcinogens and some persisting in the environment."

The landfill upgrade was initiated under the Japanese Technical Co-operation Project for Promotion of Regional Initiative on Solid Waste Management in Pacific Island Countries (J-PRISM) program.

The Japan International Co-operation Agency's (JICA) resident representative, Shumon Yoshiara, said they had provided vast technical assistance in waste management to Pacific Islands Forum member countries since 2000.

He noted while population increased in towns and cities generated large amounts of waste, there was limited available land in island countries and land issues that made it difficult to acquire landfill sites.

"Fiji also has similar issues, particularly in the management of existing disposal sites," he said.

Read story: The Fiji Times

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