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Blocked drain an eyesore, health issue

Luisa Qiolevu
Friday, January 19, 2018

A BLOCKED drain along James Madhavan St in Labasa has become an eyesore to residents who live in the area.

Sangita Kumar, who has lived in the area for more than 10 years, said the blocked drain had become a health concern for the residents.

"It overflows during rainy days and the smell is so disgusting," she said.

Mrs Kumar said their kitchen and room windows were right next to the drain.

"Sometimes during meals, it is just sickening to chew your food and at the same time trying to avoid the filthy smell from the drain. Some people have taken advantage of it and they are dumping rubbish in it and that has led to blockage, because the culvert is too small."

Mrs Kumar said they lodged a complaint with the Labasa Town Council, but nothing had been done so far.

"We can't recall the last time the council came to clean these drains," she said.

"We are hoping that the council would look into this matter before our children are affected."

Another resident, Milika Lutubula, said the stench worsened after a heavy rain.

"The rain that we just had these past few days really stirred the smell and we just can't stay in the house for long," she said.

Labasa Town Council confirmed it had done its part in cleaning up the side of the drain and claimed Fiji Roads Authority was responsible for the flushing of underground culverts.

Fiji Roads Authority CEO Jonathan Moore said they had not received any request from Labasa Town Council to clear the blocked drain.

"Labasa Town Council is responsible for cleaning all of those open drains next to Fiji Sugar Corporation tramline," he said.

However, Mr Moore said there had been ongoing discussions and site inspections between FRA North and Labasa Town Council on the need to flush out underground culverts along Nasekula Rd and Labasa Main St around the Catholic Church.

"We have tried out few areas before, but they were either fully blocked, damaged and collapsed. It is important that the public understands that dumping rubbish into drains can cause ponding," he said.

"We urge them to not recklessly discard rubbish."

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