I commend The Fiji Times, "asaleo care" and BSP for their persistence in the anti-litter campaign. The campaign has created much awareness about the litter problem that we're facing in Fiji.
Of late, most of the pictures have been focusing around the Nadawa/ Nasinu suburbs.
The pictures are quite revealing. Nasinu forms part of one of the most populated areas outside Suva.
It comes within the jurisdiction of the Nasinu Town Council which appears to be facing a rather difficult battle with the Nasinu town-folk and possibly others from outside the township that use this town as their dumping ground for all sorts of litter.
In the past, when referring to the litter problem along the Princess Rd- Tacirua-Nausori corridor, I had suggested the extension of town boundaries to include the Tacirua, Colo-i Suva, Sawani, Vuniniudrovu and Waila stretch so these communities can enjoy the services of the town councils in the collection of rubbish.
The recent reports and photographs from the Nasinu area seem to suggest that the simple extension of town boundaries and the opportunity to have rubbish collection services will not solve the problem of littering.
As stated by Alfred Alifo of WWF ? "Waste and litter is still a big problem in Fiji despite the many years of anti-litter campaigns, education, awareness and the establishment of the Anti-Litter Decree".
From the Nasinu photos, it is very clear that residents in the area are collecting their rubbish.
As I'd said before, the problem appears to be where the rubbish is to be taken. It's a question of alternatives.
Without receptacles to receive the rubbish or proper rubbish services being provided, it appears that people turn to the easiest alternative ? dump it anywhere else but their own doorstep.
Sometimes it may even include throwing the rubbish over a neighbour's fence!
I hope that we will not see the day when people will start dumping their truck loads of rubbish along the streets of the Suva CBD, other townships or over the beautiful fences of the botanical gardens. Again, this can happen if proper alternatives are not provided to our people.
It was recently reported that the Government had secured and donated rubbish trucks to two municipal councils.
Hopefully this will help the Nasinu Town Council in clearing the collected/dumped rubbish from its roadsides.
I have a further suggestion.
The Government is giving out millions each year to hundreds of non-tax paying citizens.
It's in a form of $1000 per non-tax paying recipient. Can similar millions be given to town councils so they can provide a better rubbish collecting service?
Similar amounts can be used in the rehabilitation of former rubbish dump-sites and the creation of new landfills.
In this regard, those that want to use the rubbish collecting service will not have to pay a fee.
After all, with all the "freebies" being provided by the Government, why not extend it to rubbish collection?
At least, with the free collection of rubbish, everyone, in particular, all taxpayers will benefit in having a cleaner Fiji.
Let's all support The Fiji Times "asaleo care" and BSP in the Anti-Litter campaign.