8 Aug 2002

Samoa MPs concerned by women and children scavenging at rubbish dump

10:36 am on 8 August 2002

Samoan parliamentarians have expressed concern for the health of scavengers at the rubbish dump on Upolu.

The government MP Taua Kitiona was the first to raise the issue, however the Opposition leader, Le Mamea Ropati, confirmed it was a problem.

Le Mamea said he had seen mothers and their children returning from the rubbish dump.

He said many of the things they got there were unusable food items.

Le Mamea called for the department of Lands, Survey and Environment to fence off the rubbish tip.

He said the scavengers may find things of use, but taking dumped food could spread diseases.

The minister of lands, survey and environment, Tagaloa Tuala Sale told parliament that a fence for the dump was a priority.

Tagaloa says that his department has been petitioned, asking if the scavengers could set up a shop at the front gate, so they can sell things that others have thrown away.