Honiara harbour a health hazard
Water pollution in the main port in Solomon Islands is causing health problems and overwhelming the Honiara Council which is calling for help.
A Solomon Islands councillor in Honiara says serious water pollution in the harbour is too big for the council to deal with and he's calling for wider government and international assistance to fund a clean up.
Jonathan Zama told Jenny Meyer he's speaking out now about the issue as people's health is starting to suffer from the poor state of Point Cruz Harbour.
JONATHAN ZAMA: Actually it's unbelievable. It's really polluted down there in Honiara international seaport. Lots of rubbish is laying around the jetties, and the wharves.
JENNY MEYER; And what about the quality of the water?
JZ; The quality of the water is totally rubbish. It's like milo, brown. Not what it used to be before; it was crystal clear. But now it's totally rubbish it's brown and you just can't see anything in the water, no nothing at all. It's really polluted. To make things worse lots of those rotten boats are lying across the beach of the harbour.
JM; What is the cause of this pollution?
JZ; The cause of the pollution here is the rubbish the people throw on the wharves, they just throw it into the sea. And even the boats come berth on the wharf, throw rubbish into the sea. And some of them oil spill into the harbour, which is totally bad. I just can't believe why the environmental health (department) here in the city can't pick up those things.
JM; And what about the quality of the fish. Is that causing any problems to people's health? If the water is so poor, the fish must also be not so good?
JZ; The people who sell the fish, wash the fish from the water, the polluted water so that when the people brought those fish and buy them and cook them; they get stomach ache and admitted in the hospital like food poisoning.
JM; What would you like to see done about this pollution problem there?
JZ; Well it's a very big problem. It's not a problem which an individual authority can sort out. It must be the whole entire national government; the marine department, the health department and all the authorities who look after the ministry of health.
JM; We've heard that there's untreated sewage from people's human waste going into the harbour also; is that true?
JZ; Actually that sewage water which is disposing into the harbour is not treated. no, not at all.
JM; Do you need international help do you think to deal with this? It sounds like it's really quite an environmental problem.
JZ; With the current government itself we can't help that. So we really need international assistance to help Solomon Islands government to sort this problem out for us, help us. We can't do it by ourselves.
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