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14 other Pacific nations also to get training

By Riteshni Singh SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Aug. 25, 2010) - An agreement between Fiji and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will see a new project of solid waste management.

The project will also be implemented in 14 other Pacific Island countries.

Speaking at the agreement signing, JICA adviser on Solid Waste Management, Shiro Amano said for the new project, they were expecting Fiji’s counterparts to play a leading role.

"Waste management is our endless mission in order to forward a clean and safe environment to our next generations," he said.

Mr Amano said they hoped Fiji would have, in the very near future, sound and sustainable solid waste management.

He said Japan had been helping the Pacific region for the past 10 years and was committed to continuing assistance.

Ministry of Local Government permanent secretary Taina Tagicakibau said the country recognized that waste management was an issue that needed immediate action.

"It is recognized as a major concern with the potential to cause negative impacts on national development including public health, environment, food security, tourism and trade," she said.

Mrs. Tagicakibau said waste at the moment was being thrown in open dumpsites, illegally ending up in the sea or on unused land, in the streets or being burnt in piles in the backyard.

"Burning municipal waste is a major health problem with some toxins in the smoke being carcinogens and some persisting in the environment," she said.

She said the regional project would further help reduce waste residual for final disposal and thus alleviate the pressure on landfills and dumpsites.

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