In order to provide continued and expanded services without draining valuable resources, town boundary extensions need to be considered for the purpose of extending basic town services, says Parveen Kumar, the Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport.
He made the call while officiating at the launch of the national free green waste and white goods collection and the launch of kitchen waste collection for the Central division’s peri-urban areas.
“It is not sustainable for our municipal councils to provide services to an ever-expanding area outside its boundaries,” he said.
“This is an unfair burden on existing ratepayers. And a free ride for those who benefit from services without paying rates. Everyone will benefit from proper and sustainable waste management services through municipal councils and we will contribute to a greener and cleaner Fiji.”
The launch ceremony at Vunileba Settlement in Suva marked the first formal unveiling of waste collection services in peri-urban services.
Kumar said such waste would be properly disposed of at the Naboro Landfill outside Suva instead of otherwise ending up drains, creeks, rivers and other public spaces.
He said benefits of regular collection services for communities would include improved sanitation and that littler and other toxic elements would no longer contaminate productive land, creeks, and rivers, while more land would be availed for farming or the extension of such settlements.
“Government has decided to activate waste collection services in peri-urban areas as a priority to ensure that we provide for a healthier Fiji and as we launch the collection of household garbage in peri-urban settlements in the central division, I would like it to be noted that currently, these settlements do not have a structured system of collection.”
Services will be provided to an initial line up of 10 settlements, and extended to cover 20 peri-urban settlements in the central division.
The Minister also noted that the Government invested in the purchase of six nine tonne compactor trucks worth $1.4million dollars to Nasinu, Nausori, Lami, Ba and Nadi municipalities to assist in waste collection.
“We are working closely with Japan Embassy who have recently donated two nine ton compactor truck and have been providing JICA volunteers to municipal councils to assist in environment programs.
“It is clear that in Fiji with a larger urban population and consumerism, we will see higher and higher volumes of waste. Apart from the Government and municipal solid waste management services, there needs to be individual responsibility in how each of manages waste. We have to have civic pride to make our communities and settlements clean.”
Protecting the environment and Fiji’s beauty is always a challenging task. We all know improper waste management, pollution and litter cuts across all sectors.