Drug problem threatens Fiji’s economy

May 20, 2024 4:53 pm

Drug Free World Fiji Founder Kalesi Volatabu says the impact of Fiji’s drug problem puts the national economy at stake.

Speaking on FBC’s show “Your Voice,” Volatabu labels Fiji’s drug use problem a crisis and chaotic.

She believes a campaign to maximize confidence for people to report drugs is needed to effectively address the issue.

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Volatabu says five years ago, her organization envisioned what has now become a reality, with a much bigger scare looming.

“If we don’t put a tight lid on it, how will it impact Fiji the most? Ask yourself the question: Do you think it is safe for our tourists to come here? Do you think it is safe for our investors to bring their money into this country? It’s economic; it’s literally driven by that, and we need to look at that at the same time.”

Volatabu says now the problem has become something that Fiji cannot tackle on its own.

“If we want to save Fiji, we need to help; we need to help the government do that. We need to ask international parties to help our own people.”

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Country Manager Collie Brown also shared similar sentiments.

“Because this is not just a Fiji problem; this is a regional problem that we see across the region: drug trafficking, addiction, and rising addiction issues that’s related to the drugs that’s coming in from Fiji.”

Volatabu believes that Fiji can tackle drugs with help from partners, but the approach needs to fit Fiji’s situation.