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Vanuatu government to control adjacent uses

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, October 15, 2009) – The Vanuatu Water Resources Management Unit has created a plan for the rehabilitation of the Tagabe river.

They anticipate plan will become a model for other contaminated rivers in the country.

[PIR editor’s note: The Tagabe River drains Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, on the island of Efete and provides the city with drinking water as well as other uses.]

The director of water resources management unit Erikson Sami confirmed this during a presentation to the diploma journalism students at VIT on Monday.

Mr. Sami confirmed that Tagabe river is contaminated and there are many factors that have contributed to the contamination of the river.

Much of the pollution is from human, animal and chemical wastes.

While the river may be seen as suitable for swimming Sami advised that Tagabe river is no longer suitable for drinking or cooking.

He stated that those using the river for swimming or bathing may experience itching on their skin and eyes.

"We are now providing awareness to the people living along the river about how to manage the river and the importance not to throw rubbish or build toilets close to the river and why it is important to plant more trees along the river rather than gardening", said Sami.

Sami confirmed that they have had discussions with the owner of a cattle farm close to the pump station and the owner has to move his fence further away from the river so the wastes from his animals do not spill into the river.

The water resources management unit had also dug a pool close to the pump station for the residents living along the river who are normally using the river for swimming or bathing but said it is again along walk for those living at Blacksands area.

The director revealed that they have discussed with Tusker factory at Tagabe after finding out that all the liquid wastes from the factory flow into the river and have now built several reservoirs to store the wastes.

They have also discussed with mothers doing car wash close to the river and he said he pleased with the outcome.

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