Weed­i­cides in mu­nic­i­pal­ity

Fiji Sun - - Comment -

Ti­tus Narayan, Suva

Use of weed­i­cides by Suva City Coun­cil con­trac­tors must be halted im­me­di­ately be­cause of the se­ri­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact.

It is po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous, in many ways, not only to hu­man be­ings, but also to do­mes­tic pets and or­na­men­tal trees along side foot­paths. I have been draw­ing the at­ten­tion of SCC, in par­tic­u­lar, its health de­part­ment for a lengthy pe­riod of time at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals, but the sub­ject mat­ter still re­mains un­solved.

No doubt, de­spite ef­forts by the coun­cil to ed­u­cate the con­trac­tors in re­gards to the harm­ful ef­fects the chem­i­cal has, the con­trac­tors ig­no­rance has left much to be ad­mired and be­com­ing a grow­ing con­cern to res­i­dents re­sid­ing in the Suva mu­nic­i­pal­ity. I have been re­li­ably in­formed the con­trac­tors do not have proper gar­den tools to cut and clear the over grown grass and weeds from the road site for which they have been con­tracted for. They only have brush cut­ters, a wheel bar­row and at times a long han­dle knife and these tools are not good enough to cut the grass on the road shoul­ders and its curbs. On nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions I have asked the coun­cil and the con­trac­tors con­cerned not to spray weed­i­cides on foot­paths, road shoul­ders and its curbs.

Un­for­tu­nately, my vig­or­ous ef­forts have fallen on deaf ears, and as a re­sult beau­ti­ful green grass al­ways turns into ugly brown patches and an eye sore. I took the above photo on April 23 at 4:30pm to show with­ered brown patches and parched soil un­der it be­cause of the weed­i­cides spray. SCC is aware that I main­tain the foot­paths and pave­ments out­side my house at my cost.

In ad­di­tion to this, for a num­ber of years de­com­po­si­tion of or­ganic waste or (ma­te­ri­als) have slowly piled up on foot­paths and its de­com­po­si­tion grad­u­ally reach above the road curbs and also gained un­nec­es­sary height of the foot­paths that’s why it looks un­even and bumpy.

Be­cause of un­sat­is­fac­tory main- ten­ance by the coun­cil con­trac­tors, grass and weeds roll down on the curbs then to the road shoul­ders. Time has come that all not con­creted foot­paths should be scraped to bring its cur­rent height lower than the road curbs for easy main­te­nance and pleas­ant walk­ing.

It is very easy to or­gan­ise with­out much costs or pull out grass and weeds from the storm wa­ter drains and foot­paths, but be­cause of lack of proper gar­den tools and sheer lazi­ness “short cut” meth­ods are fol­lowed.

Be­cause of lax­ity in its strict su­per­vi­sion by SCC, the con­trac­tors are care­less in car­ry­ing out their con­tracted obli­ga­tions and the rate pay­ers have to en­dure and live in an un­healthy en­vi­ron­ment.

I am cer­tain the Min­is­ter for Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment must have also no­ticed brown patches in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity and his prompt in­ter­ven­tion will be highly ap­pre­ci­ated. When I be­came breath­less with my com­plaints, I was com­pelled to ver­bally lodge my com­plaint to Mr. Azam Khan, di­rec­tor lo­cal gov­ern­ment who promptly sent an e-mail to the coun­cil to survey and take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion on spray­ing of weed­i­cides within the mu­nic­i­pal­ity. Thank you Mr Khan for your prompt ac­tion.

I hope the coun­cil and its con­trac­tors will take heed of your in­struc­tions.

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