Monday, June 05, 2006
Students check quality of Qawa River
The Labasa Sugar Mill has been reprimanded a few times about pollution of the Labasa rivers, particularly the Qawa River. Students of the nearby school, All Sasints Secondary School monitor the water quality. I wonder if the mill has done anything about the problem since they were awarded a black mark award a couple of years ago!
The following information is from project notes.
The River Care Project has been successful in Fiji, where it is active with 16-18 year olds in 80 Fijian schools. The project involves a research and monitoring component, which is then used to mobilise community action. For example, students at the All Saints Secondary School at Labasa found that after 12 weeks of sampling and investigations, the Qawa River was highly contaminated. This was due to discharges from the sugar mill and the power station, and that furthermore almost every individual living near the river had contributed to its contamination. The students had conveyed their findings to the officials at the sugar mill and to local authorities and they had made a presentation during one of the Small Islands Voice Community Outreach 'Open Days' organised by the University of the South Pacific.
The River Care project in Fiji works closely with the Curriculum Development Unit of the Ministry of Education. There is a River Care newsletter - 'Ripples'.
Following a Sandwatch training workshop in Fiji in December 2005, Live and Learn has received funding from Vodaphone to expand their River Care project over a three-year period (2006-2008) and to start Sandwatch activities with several coastal groups - schools and communities - in Fiji.