Resident raises concerns over trash

By Aruna Lolani 17 May 2017, 12:00AM

A family’s land at Tuana’i has become quite an ugly trash site no thanks to people who have turned the hole into a rubbish dump.

And after the heavy rain last week, flooding took the rubbish from the site and spilled it onto the road and into nearby properties.

A village member who contacted the Samoa Observer wants to draw the attention of the relevant authorities to the matter. She said this has been going on for too long and it is time that something is done to stop it.

“I have been living here for over twenty years and this has always been the problem,” she said.

“At this point it’s getting worse. The main problem is that the rubbish collecting truck does not come regularly and because of this, people just deposit their waste on the side of the road. 

“The situation is so unhealthy that rubbish is overflowing. The smell of the waste is so unpleasant that we cannot open our windows.”

Young children playing in the area are exposed to the foul odour and the associated risks. 

 “There are kids who walk or ride their bikes in the area and they’re exposed to all this rubbish, some of which could be dangerous.”

“There’s fibro there that might contain asbestos, wood chips, palm trunks and all sorts of builders’ waste, as well as vegetation from people’s backyards. 

“It’s happening more and more, and someone has to step in and stop it. This is the main reason I really need help, our Village needs your help.” 

“Because as a result of these rubbish, it has created a terrible smell and very dirty conditions and when it’s rainy season it all flows back to the ocean, killing the fish or flows on the road and make it worse.” 

 “This situation has worsened when one of my neighbors became sick because of awful atmosphere of colony. The M.N.R.E must investigate about dumped rubbish at this location … if you were in my shoes, do you really want to go through this?” 

A member of the family that owns the land told the Samoa Observer they are well aware of the problem. She explained that in the beginning, they had allowed people to dump their rubbish there to fill the hole and generate good soil.

“But we practically banned plastic and other smelly rubbish,” she said. 

 “The reason why we allowed the other kinds of rubbish is to fill the hole but we didn’t want this to become another Tafaigata.”

“But people now know it’s quiet here, out of the way and so they just come and dump all sorts of rubbish.” 

 “We do know how the neighbors feel and that is why my dad is working things out with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.”

The family member said it should be resolved soon.

But it’s not just Tuana’i where the problem is. At nearby Leauva’a, another unoccupied piece of land has been turned into a trash site.

 “As far as I know, people living far inland are the ones to blame, I doubt it would be someone from our side because they all know the impact of these actions,” said a villager. 

“I can’t stand this behavior anymore especially that if it will affect our health.”   

“This has always been the problem when it’s the rainy season and I’m very sad about it.” 

“I am sure you understand the urgency of this matter since it could have serious and tragic result which would not be in anyone’s self interest.” 

“In addition, on windy days, the rubbish gets thrown about our homes thereby causing further health risks.”

“This should be addressed immediately and as a responsible environmental ministry, you have to look into this issue and implement strict rules to avoid these kinds of problems.”

It was not possible to get a comment from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

By Aruna Lolani 17 May 2017, 12:00AM

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