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.