Letters to the Editor – August 25

Vunato Dump from the Veidogo Settlement end. Thick smoke continues to be emitted from the landfill. Picture: FELIX CHAUDHARY

Vunato dump fire
thought senior writer Allen Lockington was cooking up a story when he mentioned the Vunato Dump fire. However, I am thankful that The Fiji Times ran a three-page story on the impact of the fire dump on the community and health of residents. Also thank you senior for raising the issue via the media. Even atmospheric scientist Dr Francis Mani warned of the consequences ranging from serious breathing to heart-related issues as the burning produced carbon monoxide, sulphur and nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, which have been classified as major air pollutants. Lautoka City Council CEO Jone Nakauvadra has assured the public that they were doing their best to put out the Vunato Dump fire as quickly as possible. I hope that the relevant authorities will work hand in hand to bring the fire in the Sugar City under control at their earliest! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu Any comments Any comments from the health department regarding the toxic smoke emitted from the Vunato Dump fire? Or are they mute like my friends at the Ministry of Fisheries? Sobo, don’t be madua!
Wise Muavono, Balawa, Lautoka

Weather change
How and why does the weather change so suddenly? From nice cool weather on week one of the school holidays, it suddenly became dry and hot. Even in Suva, the past few days were likened to times of droughts and like one was in the Western Division. Looks like climate change is having a real impact on our lives and one could easily pick this up based on the quality and availability of vegetables and crops at the market the other day. Meanwhile, one hopes that the burning issues at the rubbish dump in Lautoka is over. Floyd Robinson, Nasinu

Daylight saving
We have had daylight saving for quite a number of years now and some people are for it and some not. However, I would like to know if any survey has been done to find out the effects of daylight saving on people in rural areas — the farmers, schoolchildren — and urban areas, and lastly the animals, especially cows. Nardeo Mishra, Suva

Missing buckles

The majority of taxis I hail on the streets of Suva do not have useable back seat seatbelts because their buckles are missing If the Land Transport Authority would conduct spot checks, I believe they would discover the same. No doubt most missing buckles are hiding safely in good condition below back seats and can be pulled out for annual inspection. Taxis that do have readily useable seatbelts are more often than not driven by their owners who are more responsible and less likely to drive like maniacs. I believe the public would be safer and better served if taxi permits were issued solely to drivers who own the vehicle. Be that as it may, I hope taxidrivers of every stripe and LTA officers who read this will give a thought to missing seatbelt buckles. What happens to infants and small children riding taxis involved in road accidents when their back seat adult minders are not securely buckled in? Willard Miller, Ellis Place, Suva

Dusty road a concern
IN 2015, the road between Levuka and Vuma Village was tarsealed. Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston destroyed the Oneviro stretch. This is a straight road allowing cars to speed along this gravelled piece generating terrible dust. The houses along this road are covered in dust 24 hours a day; louvres need to be cleaned twice a day; a car washed nine in the morning is filthy by 10am. The dust permeates the air causing respiratory difficulties with some of the elderly people in the area. Request to the FRA for frequent road watering or portable humps have gone unanswered. Last Friday, a neighbour asked the police if he could string a rope across the road to try and slow down cars. They granted him permission and the effort did have positive results. On Sunday, some other police officers removed the rope and said permission from FRA was required to replace the traffic calming effort. FRA has not replied to my request to replace the rope hump. I have noted in your pages there have been action taken on clinker dust in other areas. Our dust is also intolerable. FRA should respond to community concern. Lorrie Nolin, Levuka

Naibi or ivi
DAN Urai laments the use of naibi as the real name is ivi (FT 03/08). Dan’s letter compelled me to pick up my phone and actually call VS, the learned ivi seller friend who displays the naibi board every weekend. The ivi seller explained the issue to me. He said several people had expressed their discontent to him regarding the naibi board. His customers are mainly Fijians of Indian ethnicity and they call it naibi, not ivi. He said he had displayed ivi signs some time ago, but the customers didn’t pay attention, therefore causing him loss of sale. He said he had asked the complainers why they said basi for bus, Niusiladi for New Zealand, Igiladi for England, talevoni for telephone, tikite for ticket, etc. According to VS, the Kiwis and the English may also not like the wrong references to their countries. The naibi seller said he had successfully made his point to the complainers and said that they were generally convinced by his explanation. Now the matter may be referred to Dr Paul Geraghty, sorry Paula Qereti. See! Language is diverse, and whether it is called naibi or ivi or even na ivi or some Chinese name, the thing tastes the same. Dan definitely meant humour through his letter. Me too! VS too, but with some frustration and an argument! I am sure naibi discussions will kick off here and I hope some nutritionist also jumps in with vital information. Sooner or later, we may all have to meet at the makeshift stall just outside Lautoka City, about 500m towards Ba. Interesting. Donald Singh, Lautoka

Sugar to smoke city
You said it in your editorial comment, Fred, Lautoka turned from the Sugar City into a smoky city, may I add — acrid smoky city. I do not have any breathing ailments, but my grandson has, he was affected and I could see the fear in his eyes because he has experienced breathing difficulties in the past when neighbours lit fires in our area. To prevent him inhaling the acrid smoke, we had two fans and closed up the house, than we took him and other family members away. Just imagine there are many people who live in the Waiyavi area who burn leaves and cut-grass, every so often. Clothes get soiled with the fallout and asthmatics get affected. Then there are babies and the elderly. As I went about Lautoka this week, people living here longer than me have said that the dump fires occur at least three to four times a year. And recently the fires have become bigger and bigger. With more and more people moving into the city and peri-urban areas, rubbish will no doubt increase. Please let me emphasise the issue here — if the dump fires have occurred on a rather regular basis, why hasn’t anything been done? The dump is full of all kinds of rubbish that have toxic chemicals in them. I have seen a person suffer from an asthma attack and died, I have never forgotten that. This is the reason I am going all out for something to be done to stop for good, the fires at the dump and for something to be done regarding lighting fires in densely populated areas. I plead with the authorities for the sake of my grandson, the elderly, the sick — do something to stop the dump fires and the residential burning. This grandpa pleads especially for his grandson. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Confiscated fish
Is it true that the Fisheries Department has been selling confiscated fish and sea slugs? One sea slug exporter was told by his buyer in China that he can buy it directly from the Fisheries Department. Mr Minister for Fisheries can you please check on this, because to me it smells like a rotten stinky fish. John Brown Drasa Vitogo, Lautoka

Toxic smoke

All this toxic smoke hovering over Lautoka have kept my mate Cameron indoors. Can someone please inform him that I’d like to borrow his comb! Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

Civic hall
The renovation to Suva City’s Civic Centre Hall is perhaps near completion as the construction barricades have finally been cleared allowing public view of the exterior from a distance. It looks incredibly awesome from the outside and I look forward to experience what the interior has to offer. Hats off to the SCC for your hard work! SPENCER ROBINSON, Suva

Kava session

We were having a grog session at Kava Place and we could see this huge plume of smoke coming towards us. One of my friends just stood up and drove away. He said six days of inhaling the smoke has triggered his once under control asthma. Isa, and I wonder about the people who have nowhere to go when the smoke comes their way. Allen Lockington Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka

Fishy question

Now that the Minister for Fisheries is on record saying that the confiscated kawakawa and donu would be given to the old peoples’ homes for their lunch and dinner, I believe the media, especially The Fiji Times, must be invited to cover the good gesture. After all, the fishy news is for public consumption! Arun Prasad Dilkusha, Nausori

Tourist arrivals

An ADB brief indicates tourist arrivals into Fiji increased around 35 per cent between 2005 and 2015 while other Pacific islands increased around 50 per cent. Maybe it’s time to open up the skies to allow more school leavers to find employment in the tourism industry. Dan Urai, Lautoka

Wallabies style

It seems Michael Cheika the Wallabies 15s coach has “bloodthirsty wolves” peeping through his keyhole after the series of defeats to the All Blacks. This is a special breed of All Blacks and would be very hard to beat them. I wish him all the best. Amenatave Yaconisau Palm Drive, Delainavesi

Aussie PM
Australia now has its sixth prime minister in a decade. Kemudou! Wise Muavono Balawa, Lautoka

Cricket coverage

Is there any chance that one of our national television broadcasters can bring us the fourth and fifth England-India cricket tests? It has gotten very interesting after the third Test and now the number one team in the world will try its best to win the series. Dinesh Lingam Labasa

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