Weedicides in municipality
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.