Dump fire affects guests

Smoke from the Vunato landfill over Lautoka City. Picture: FELIX CHAUDHARY

GUESTS on a resort on an island off the coast of Lautoka City vacated the property as a result of the Vunato dump fire.

Belo Vula Resort on Bekana reported that guests checked out last week after smoke engulfed the island at the peak of the dump fire.

Resort manager Vatiliai Tavatuilagi said she had written to the Lautoka City Council to express their concerns about the impact of the fire on their business.

“We are a new resort and we are still growing. When things like this happen, even the little things can affect us in a big way,” she said.

She said the resort lost accommodation for all 12 rooms.

“It is still smoking but not like last week. Business has picked up for us now but we have to remember that this affects our guests too. They can comment about such incidents on TripAdvisor or any other forums they book through and this gives us and Lautoka a bad name.”

She said the matter should be resolved urgently.

Meanwhile, Lautoka Residents and Ratepayers Association president Narayan Reddy said they had surpassed the 3000 signatures needed for a petition calling for immediate measures to contain future fire.

He said people from as far as Tuvu and Raviravi in Ba had also signed the petition.

“We’re not going against the Government or (Lautoka City) the council. This is simply people working to protect the environment and their lives.”

The petition is expected to be delivered to the Minister for Waterways and Environment by today.

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