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Fiji Time: 3:54 PM on Saturday 20 September

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Comply or close camps

Luke Rawalai
Saturday, September 28, 2013

IMPROVEMENT notices have been issued to a group of cane farmers in the North following the health inspection of cane cutters' camps.

And for those who fail to comply within the time given, the Health Ministry could close down the camps as a result of their improper and unhygienic state.

Health Ministry spokesman Shalvin Deo said a team of inspectors had been inspecting camps in the Macuata cane farming areas.

"A common problem found in the camps is the difficulty to access water," Mr Deo said.

"Drinking water is mostly from open dug-out wells, which are vulnerable to pollution from agricultural chemicals, waste water seepages and animals.

"The provision of accessible potable water reticulation in the cane farms is very important and most of these farms use water from their own dug-out wells.

"There is a need for all those related agencies in the sugarcane industry to look into the industry in totality to include the welfare of canecutters."

Mr Deo said because there were so many camps, they have sought the assistance of FSC field officers and sardar.

"So much time is used in locating occupied camp sites and we are acquiring the assistance of FSC field officers and sardar in the locating of occupied camp sites for inspection in a timely manner.

"We have not closed any camp site but improvement notices have been given for improvements within a certain period of time.

"To close a camp site is an additional burden to the cutters because they would have to pay their fare back to the village."


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