Combating litter and protecting our environment is everyone’s business and therefore, there should be a national movement to keep our country clean.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Dr. Mahendra Reddy while officiating at the litter Act 2008 Litter Prevention Officer (LPO) Enforcement Training at Fiji Surf warehouse in Nadi Thursday.
Minister Reddy reiterated littering is a national concern and to combat this, engagements from communities and individuals is vital.
Dr Reddy further reiterated a call for a national movement engaging every individual from communities, villagers, towns, and cities to combat litter.
“We need to change the mindset of the people towards protecting the environment and every individual should take ownership to keep our environment clean,” said Dr Reddy.
“The issue of keeping Fiji clean is a responsibility for every citizen of this country and the solution to this lies amongst us as we are causing these problems.
“Some people in our community throw rubbish in other neighborhoods and have no regard for the quality of life for those living in those communities.”
Dr Reddy informed the participants that littering cannot be localised. Litter in one place can have an impact on a very wide range of geographical space, health, environment quality and this can also affects our waterways.
Minister Reddy said littering is a serious offense where everyone will be dealt with if caught by the enforcement officers.
“Littering is an offense and anyone found littering will be prosecuted. Littering not only provides a bad image, but it also creates a threat to the environment causing serious health hazards. It is also a major contributor to flooding which blocks our waterways,” said Dr Reddy.
A total of thirteen litter prevention officers attended a one-day training.
The Litter Act 2008 is administered by the Department of Environment but can be enforced by a number of authorized litter prevention officers, which includes police officers, Land Transport Officers, Public health officers, and other Public Officers