Kumar: Settlements lack waste management

Landowner Setareki Raibevu unveils the peri-urban waste collection board while Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Parveen Kumar and Assistant Minister Lorna Eden look on at Tacirua yesterday. Picture: RAMA

Landowner Setareki Raibevu unveils the peri-urban waste collection board while Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Parveen Kumar and Assistant Minister Lorna Eden look on at Tacirua yesterday. Picture: RAMA

PERI-URBAN settlements do not have a structured system of waste collection, says Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Kumar.

Mr Kumar relayed this at the launch of the peri-urban and municipal household solid waste collection services at Vunileba Settlement in Tacirua yesterday.

“Government has decided to activate waste collection services in peri-urban areas as a priority to ensure that we provide a healthier Fiji,” Mr Kumar said.

A landowner of Tacirua, Setareki Raibevu said the settlement was home to more than 31,000 residents with over 20 settlements within the area.

Mr Raibevu acknowledged government’s efforts in providing them with the new skip bin.

“We are very happy with the launch of the program as majority of those living here normally dump their rubbish on the roadside,” Mr Raibevu said.

“With this new skip bin we will ensure that rubbish is dumped properly especially with the increasing number of residents that continue to move in and settle within these areas.”

Mr Kumar said the program would also be extended to the Western and Northern divisions.

“Let me assure the residents in other divisions that slowly but surely we will address these issues, we will have a three-month trial here in the Central Division and after its successful operation, we will extend these services to the Western and Northern divisions,” he said.

Mr Kumar said they would assist these settlements by providing skip bins.

“My ministry is also involved in formalising informal settlements and we have witnessed the amount of rubbish that has been thrown in to creeks and rivers, sometimes I don’t blame them because facilities have not been provided,” he said.

“So now we will provide skip bins to all the settlements and villages and we would like to see that we work hand in hand to keep our environment clean and tidy at all times.”

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