66,000 POUNDS OF TOXIC WASTE DUMPED IN FIJI

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By Akanisi Motufaga

SUVA, Fiji Islands (August 6, 1998 - Fiji Times/Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Close to 30,000 kilograms (66,000 pounds) of hazardous chemicals have been dumped in Fiji, the Fiji Times reports.

The chemicals, which were found in eight sites around the country, were about 10 years old and discovered in rusty drums, broken boxes and leaking containers at sheds that were accessible to children.

A consultant, Dr. Ian Wallis, said from Samoa yesterday that the problem needed to be solved immediately.

Consultants Terrie Burns, Dr. Bruce Graham, and Dr. Wallis spent the last four months looking into stockpiles of poisonous wastes and obsolete pesticides.

The survey was carried out in 13 Pacific island countries as part of a SPREP (South Pacific Regional Environment Programme) project aimed at cleaning up dangerous chemicals.

Dr. Wallis said they found small quantities of leftover chemicals at schools and hospital laboratories as well as large amounts of pesticides about six to 10 years old which were left in rundown government depots, sheds and at private farms.

At one site alone they found 4,000 kilograms (8,800 pounds) in one shed.

The major sites were around Suva, Nadi, and in Vanua Levu.

Title -- 1611 ENVIRONMENT: Toxic waste dumped in Fiji Date -- 6 August 1998 Byline -- Akanisi Motufaga Origin -- Pasifik Nius Source -- Fiji Times, 6/8/98 Copyright -- Fiji Times Status – Abridged

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