Residents raise concerns on Samabula river stench

Residents living near the Samabula river in Suva have raised concerns on the foul smell coming from the river. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

A MYSTERIOUS substance discovered spilling into the Samabula River from a pipe in Nabua, Suva has raised concerns from residents of Maravu settlement who live along the river.

The residents have also questioned if it is contributing to the bad odour they have to endure almost everyday.

According to resident Aninja Prasad, the inky coloured water was something new they saw in the river lately.

She said they had no idea how the substance was deposited into the river or where it was coming from, but were wondering if actions would be taken to ascertain the dark deposits which they believe is a threat to the river’s ecosystem.

“This is a worrying factor for almost everybody who lives along this area,” she said. Ms Prasad said the deposits left in the river were milky and looked like oil.

“There is a huge blue pipe near the river, but mostly the water that comes from it is milky in colour, but other than that it is really black. “A few people that live around here have actually gone to complain to authorities.”

Another resident, Reshmi Devi, 29, is pleading with authorities to look into the issue because “it poses a great risk to the environment”.

“The issue here is the foul smell we get from the sewage, and now that we have discovered this, I think the authorities should come into action and run tests to see if what has been deposited in the river is oil or any other substance,” she said.

“We don’t know where it is coming from but we are worried that those down the river might be fishing and are unaware about what is happening.”


A taxi driver (who wished to remain anonymous) operating around Cunningham in Suva points at the Samabula river. He says the river is the source of the foul smell. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA


Shobna Prasad, 48, also a resident of Maravu settlement, shared similar sentiments.

The Ministry of Environment says it has collected samples from the river for testing.

Environment Minister Mahendra Reddy said his team had visited the site.

Meanwhile, residents confirmed to this newspaper that they would soon be relocated and have received notices of eviction from the Water Authority of Fiji.

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