STATEMENT FROM THE DEAPRTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT

Caption: The public have been advised to be cautious about ?parts of the Cunningham River as well as the Suva Coastline beginning from?the mouth of the Rewa river up to?Fiji Development bank?foreshore in Suva that have been banned. Photo:?www.mailife.com.fj?

As of?31st?December 2014, an?Environmental?Emergency?Declaration?under Section 40 of the Environment Management Act has been confirmed?for parts of the Cunningham River as well as the Suva Coastline beginning from?the mouth of the Rewa river up to?Fiji Development bank?foreshore,?Suva.

Due to serious health concerns, there shall be NO FISHING or any other recreational activity in these waters.

An?Inter-Agency?Emergency committee?comprising key stakeholders continue?to meet on a weekly basis to closely monitor the situation. The Fiji Police Force, as a member of this committee, is leading the monitoring of areas affected to deter the public from using affected water sources.

Areas declared under the Environmental Emergency Declaration are from the mouth of Rewa?river?to Fiji Development bank foreshore area including Nukulau Island, whole of Laucala Bay area and?3?km?further up?the Cunningham River?mouth.

As the monitoring began since the?broken line occurred on 6thDecember,?2014 there have?been?fishermen spotted fishing within the now declared environmental?emergency zone.?All fishermen?and all coastal communities?are urged?to?refrain from fishing in these areas to source fish and other seafoods for livelihood as water tests done indicate a very high level of water contamination.

So far there has not been any report of fish poisoning directly related?to the water contaminations. The committee is?also monitoring all our Health Centres within the Suva ?Nausori corridor for reports on fish poisoning or any other water related skin borne disease that could be related to the water contamination.

Water quality monitoring is done on a weekly basis by the University of?the South Pacific?laboratory who has?been assisting Government in the water quality tests and will continue to do so until the Environment Emergency declaration ends.

As have been stated,?water contamination according to the?tests done?so far indicate a very high level of contamination.
The public is?advised to take heed of?this advice?and directive for their own health benefit.

 

MEDIA RELEASE