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Fiji Time: 8:02 PM on Friday 18 April

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Death Trap

Shalveen Chand
Thursday, January 02, 2014

A POPULAR swimming spot in which a six-year-old boy drowned on New Year's Eve is a death trap.

Residents said for the last two decades the creek, called Paradise Pond and located off Duvula Rd in Nadera, Nasinu, and near a shortcut to Ratu Dovi Rd, is where children play after school and in the holidays.

Class One student Semi Maivalu was found floating in the creek on Tuesday

Filimone Taufa, 18, and his father, who pulled out Semi's lifeless body out of the water and tried to resuscitate him, said children as young as five converge there without adult supervision.

"The children always come here by themselves. Some from Duvula, the roundabout area, some from Reba Circle," he said.

"Everybody knows that they can swim here,but as far as I can remember, there has never been adult supervision."

Mr Taufa said children went to the creek without informing their parents or carers.

Such was Semi's case. His mother had left him and his three younger siblings at home and had gone shopping.

Semi managed to slip away with the neighbour's children unnoticed.

Dhani Ram, 54, who has resided at Duvula for almost 30 years, said as far as he could remember Paradise Pond was a place children gathered to play.

"I always told my children not to go there. You never know when accidents can happen, especially if people looking after the children are children themselves," he said.

Young Semi's body was first noticed by two girls from the Reba Circle area who raised the alarm.

The Taufa family then contacted the police after unsuccessful attempts to revive the boy.

It was only then when Semi's family found out what had happened.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said such incidents could be avoided.

"We are once again pleading with parents and guardians to closely monitor the movements of their children," Ms Naisoro said.

"This is something we are hoping to avoid, however, we will need the support of everyone to ensure we prevent further loss of life."

The pond, which is littered with garbage of all sorts, is also a health risk, according to some residents.