The Ministers Advisory Committee has concluded its site inspection visits for the islands of Upolu and Savaii.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the purpose of this site inspection is to assess all sites and environmental concerns raised by the Advisory committee members.
The Advisory committee includes all members and representatives of communities; therefore, there is a direct contact between communities and the Ministry, the statement said.
According to the statement, the assessment for communities in Savai’i started from Salelologa where inspectors witnessed an ugly site along the acres of S.L.C. lands, which had become a dumping site for the public.
“This isn’t the first time this was reported to the Ministry, although there’s a billboard sign that basically reads ‘Do not litter’, the general public are still carrying out unsustainable illegal practices,” the statement said.
The inspection continued on around Savaii in assessing Vai’a’ata to Salei’a where the Ministry representatives witnessed houses built on sea walls (Government Property) had finished off with Samalaeulu, to site lands where people have excavated loads of sand from the river banks, the statement highlighted.
“The assessments for communities in Upolu started in Aleisa where the committee witnessed illegal dumping sites around the communities.”
The assessments continued around to Aleipata where a representative reported on illegal sand mining operations done by one company.
According to the statement, the assessment for Upolu concluded at Afiamalu where the committee observed the reclaimed lands in Afiamalu that had caused environmental concerns for the water catchments from the highlands of Afiamalu and Malololelei.
The Ministry is already in process of finding appropriate solutions to approach the environmental concern raised by the Advisory committee members, the statement said.