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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Inadequate Waste Treatment Criticized In Solomon Islands
Health inspector calls on government to establish facilities

By Daniel Namosuaia

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 29, 2013) – Poor waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities have been a real health and environmental concern for Honiara city and the Solomon Islands in general.

Chief health inspector of Honiara city council, George Titiulu revealed this in an interview with this paper.

Mr. Titiulu said the country has no proper waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities at this stage.

"This is a real national concern because there is no sound management of hazardous waste materials coming from hospitals, industrial and commercial sectors in the country.

"The current practice today is that all wastes are dumped at the Ranadi dump site and they are exposed to burning which pollutes the air with poisonous fumes and also drains down to the creeks and out into the sea untreated," Titiulu said.

He added that since the country has no treatment, storage or disposal facilities in place, all harmful wastes are exposed to the eco-system posing great health and environmental risks to city residents.

He calls on the government and responsible ministries to take pro-active measures to establish waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities to ensure safe and environmentally sound management of hazardous waste materials.

He said the disposal site at Ranadi is currently unsafe with no proper management of disposed waste. Adding, lack of treatment facilities such as incinerators to destroy hazardous organic compounds and reduces the overall volume of waste contributes to exposure of hazardous chemicals to the air, streams and sea.

"Our society needs to understand the end product of waste materials and how it can affect our health and environment if not properly managed. It is a life cycle and we will be the ones affected if these hazardous waste materials are not properly disposed, treated and stored.

"Therefore it is important that proper treatment, storage and disposal facilities are in place to manage these hazardous materials that individual households, companies, industries and commercial residents generate. Urgent collaborative action is needed," Titiulu stressed.

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