THE Japanese government handed over a backhoe loader machine worth $US124,000 (F$225,700) to the Labasa Town Council yesterday.
The machine is expected to improve the management of rubbish dump sites, waste treatment and also improve drainage systems.
Speaking at the hand-over ceremony, Japanese Ambassador to Fiji Eiichi Oshima said the machine was funded through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Program (GGP).
"With respect to waste management, I am told that this issue is considered as one of the serious problems in the Labasa municipality and this machine is expected to assist the council in improving its efficiency on waste treatment," he said.
"Inefficient waste management can create serious public health and environmental problems, thus our government has co-operated with Fiji to improve its waste management in an effort to enhance sanitary environment for the public.
"Such assistance are a reflection of Japan's goodwill and friendship with the Fiji government and its people and we hope to work hand in hand for more development projects," he said.
Labasa special administrator Vijay Chand thanked Japan for the assistance.