Letters to the Editor – August 23

A group of people including children enter the Vunato Dump site as a blaze continues to emit heavy smoke over Lautoka City. Picture: REPEKA NASIKO/FILE

Who is responsible
Someone has to stand up and be responsible for the Vunato dump fire.
Many people are suffering, the dump is very vulnerable to fires and this has happened already last year where the fire burned for almost two to three weeks.
I live in Waiyavi and I am a few miles from the dump but we can see the plume of acrid smoke that has come our way.
As I type, the wind has changed direction and smoke is coming towards Waiyavi.
I pity the people who live there and I am sure they are suffering.
It’s time for some real leaders of Fiji to stand up and say, “I will take responsibility”.
We don’t even know if the authorities are trying to put the fire out.
Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Agricultural problems

While Government is trying its best to lift the standard of agriculture, there are several issues that drastically need to be dealt with before we can even move forward.
Theft and stray animals are a huge problem for farmers and it’s getting worse by the day. So much worse that many would rather not invest their time and money into the sector.
What baffles me most is that the problem is well known to all and yet little to nothing is being done to tackle these issues.
Not only is agriculture a lifeline but it has enormous potential if given the right support.
There are far too many people owning animals but do not have enough land and pasture to sustain their stock. Instead they let their animals roam freely to survive and in most cases the animals wander on to other people’s properties causing destruction to weeks and months of hard work.
As for theft, there are black markets in the form of middlemen buying anything and everything that they can resell.
These middlemen are known to many and they go about their business in a shady manner.
I believe current policies obviously don’t work so Government urgently needs to come up with new policies to tackle these issues and help grow the sector into a much more sustainable, clear cut and transparent manner.
Protect and support the farmers and the industry will grow!
Simon Hazelman, Savusavu

Policy issues

Someone said that in order to formulate good policies, proper consultation is a must, which is a labour intensive and time consuming process that must not be rushed but well reviewed and evaluated in addition to it being broad based.
I raise this point to create awareness on the many policies that our Government has been passing and I question the fact whether these policies have been properly consulted before- hand because I have been witnessing everyday policies that have been passed but not observed.
I would like to just highlight just a few;
1. Electronic Fare Ticketing Amendment Regulation 2017 which came into effect from November 2, 2017, which states that a bus driver must ensure that all bus fares are paid through a bus card on a bus card reader and the driver who commits an offense is liable to be fined a fixed penalty of $1000. I travel by bus every day and I still see drivers accepting cash from passengers;
2. Under the Tobacco Control Regulation, anyone who sells cigarette rolls will be taken to task and fined $1000. I cross the Suva market to the Western bus stand every day and I can see many people selling cigarette rolls in their stalls and everywhere around the market area close to the market police post, but nothing done about it; and,
3. Under the Land Transport Regulation, drivers should turn off their engines when they stop at bus stands. I cross the Suva bus stand almost every day and I can tell you that bus drivers are not adhering to this regulation because their engines are running for as long as they are stopping in their stands.
I believe these are just a few examples of idle policies and I further want to confirm what Dr Sakul said and I quote: “If there is an inadequate consultation in the policy making process, this could result in the formulation of poor policies.”
I wonder how many poor policies do we have because of improper consultation.
Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane, Vuninokonoko Rd, Navua

Layer of smoke

For the past few days, the serene city of Lautoka has been shrouded with a thick layer of toxic smoke emitting from the infamous Vunato rubbish landfill.
I believe authorities have confirmed that these fires were deliberately lit.
This unwarranted act has jeopardised the lives of many citizens, namely the sickly who are compelled to inhale the lethal substances associated with the smoke.
Can those responsible be swiftly brought to justice?
Just hang them upside down and give them a good old fashioned buturaki.
That’s what you deserve for putting our beautiful city under threat.
Nishant Singh, Lautoka

Security please

May I please ask the Fiji Football Association boss to have security guards at the car park area at Govind Park during matches? I decided to exit myself at half time to attend a family function in Nadi. I rushed to my vehicle only to notice that some brilliant mind had blocked my vehicle with his black Caldina.
My vehicle was parked second on the left beside the main parking area. I rushed back inside the park so that I could ask for an announcement to be made to clear my way but then again there was no microphone available with the DJ present. All I could do was to leave the car, look for a carrier and go back home.
By this time my wife was already fuming to her maximum boiling point because I was late. We all got dressed and returned in the same carrier to pick the vehicle and we drove to Nadi.
The carrier cost me more than the price of a match ticket. No use entering the ground free I thought. Again I am going to watch the match scheduled this weekend and to my wife, please bear with the delay again as I don’t think any improvement will be made. I am sorry and I love you in advance.
Ashis Kumar, Ba

Down memory lane
It is so sad to find out about the passing away of Dr Veer Indira Singh (FT 14/08). Dr Singh was a medical officer at the then Naitonitoni government station in Navua in the mid 1950s. I was just a kid but I can still recall seeing him because all government quarters were so close.
During some Saturdays, Dr Singh would accompany my two elder brothers and the rest for underwater fishing (bubura). A black elastic cut from a tyre tube and a thin iron rod sharpened at one end is used for underwater fishing. They always returned with an abundance of fish.
A funny incident was when he was about to take a picture of me and my mother with his camera, and when he was about to press the camera button, I hid behind my mother’s back as I was frightened of the camera. Later on when he gave the photo, only my mother appeared in it. Dr Singh got on well with the rest of his colleagues.
Those that also worked at the government station included Ratu Qoro Latianara (the Roko), Dr Inoke Qarau, Ravuama Vunakece (ex-Fiji rugby rep), Semesa (ovisa ni yasana), Mr Daniel (health inspector) and Mr Moti Tikaram (later became Sir — magistrate). The police quarters and office were also a couple of yards away, and the district officer’s residence was a stone’s throw away from the sea. May they all rest in peace. Moce mada vuniwai.
Vili Yaranamua, Nadi

Colourful Kaila!

I am an avid reader of the Kaila! newspaper and I somehow found this week’s edition quite colourful and thrilling thanks to the efforts of our wonderful students and the Kaila! graphics and artists.
This week’s Kaila! carried memories of the 2018 Scouts Jamboree, the fun-filled spiritual program held at Sabeto, thrills from this year’s Hibiscus Festival and the fun and glamour from the Kaji Rugby competition. The Kaila! also recognised the importance of reading and exhibiting creative skills.
I must admit that I was touched with the colourful pictures and poses of our kids in particular little Cassandra Koi, who spent her valuable time drawing and colouring her favourite fruit. I congratulate my kai and Cakaudrove lad Jasiel Petueli for making it to the Fiji under-13 national rugby squad after an extraordinary performance.
The Kaila! concluded with a beautiful picture of the Scouts from Lomaiviti. Many of these young Scouts would have been thrilled seeing their picture in the favourite newspaper of thousands of young minds. Hats off to the Kaila! gang and thank you for decorating your beautiful newspaper with some exciting stories and colourful pictures! Cheers and bravo!
Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Condition of roads
I drove on these two roads, and ask the question, “what is the difference between Baka Drive and Nadomumai Rd?”
Vinaka Fiji Roads Authority! SILIVARIO H. MALO, Caubati, Nasinu

Fish issue
I hope Allen, Wise and old Mr Brown are satisfied that the confiscated banned fishes are stored in Fisheries freezers to be given out to old people’s homes for consumption.
Dan Urai, Lautoka

Smoke inhalation

We here in Lautoka are again experiencing smoke inhalation from the Vunato rubbish dump, this seems to be a yearly occurrence.
Serious questions need to be asked and answered, are we equipped to deal with this reoccurring concern, are we able to be proactive, is there a health support structure from those that are directly affected and don’t recognise the effects and hazards this has on the population.
To those in the position to do something, please address this concern or admit you can’t and get somebody who’s able to get this sorted.
Nigel Fiu, The Owls Perch, Lautoka

Real problem
Personally I have no objection to the Grace Road Group proclaiming their religious message provided they do not harm anyone or embrace bigotry.
My concern, like that of Seona Smiles in her article (ST 19/08), is for the number of our local young people who are being denied jobs in the Grace Rd enterprises.
Let the Grace Rd “volunteers” do their voluntary work in their own country. Immigration Department and Ministry of Labour — how about some immediate corrective action?
TESSA Mackenzie, Suva

Issue of roles

It’s high time Mohammed Saneem acts like a civil servant and stops acting like a politician.
Dan Urai, Lautoka

Bus fares
In response to Hans B Boernke of Savusavu on when the free bus fares for passengers older than 60 would become effective, the Fiji Bus Operators Association rejects the claim that we are waiting to be officially informed.
We have never said that. Secondly, with the electronic ticketing system, the responsibility lies with Vodafone to program their systems so that cards for those 60 years and above reflects this change.
Rohit Latchan, FBOA general secretary

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