Close to sixty Litter Prevention Officers (LPO) were urged to work with the authorities in combating littering and enforcing anti-litter laws.
This was the highlighted by Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy at the Litter Act 2008 Litter Prevention Officer (LPO) Enforcement Training held in Suva.
The one-day training is timely as it has come at a time when waste issues have been at the heart of discussions at all levels and in all sectors of the government including the private sector.
Minister Reddy said the Ministry recognizes that litter can cause a whole range of problems for everyone in our communities.
“Litter is also a threat to public health as it attracts vermin and can negatively affect the image of communities. Litter using plastics causes an additional problem of stalling decomposition of materials which could decompose.”
“When discarded carelessly, litter usually ends up in our rivers and creeks, causing flash flooding. Litter is also a threat to public health as it attracts vermin and can negatively affect the image of communities.”
Minister Reddy is adamant that this training will help all Litter Prevention Officers fully appreciate and understand the role of the ministry and what we can and need to do to support government’s efforts in the protection of Fiji’s natural environment.
“It is also important that we fully know our powers and the limitations of our role under this law and what we can and cannot do, including the mechanisms that are in place to address or report those issues that will require the intervention of the Department of Environment.”
The Litter Act 2008 prescribes penalties for littering for various offences and includes littering from a vehicle, failing to safeguard traffic and remove litter, and abandoning dangerous litter.
The Litter Act 2008 is administered by the Department of Environment but can be enforced by a number of authorized litter prevention officers, which includes police officers, Land Transport Officers, Public health officers and other Public Officers.