Food sources at risk, post-disaster: SPREP

September 20, 2022 12:10 pm

Saimili Bulai.

Adequate disposal of solid waste and other hazardous materials remains a concern for Pacific Island communities.

Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program PacWastePlus Technical Project Officer, Sainimili Bulai says Fiji and other countries in the region are susceptible to disasters.

Bulai stresses these disasters are often associated with different types and volumes of waste such asbestos-containing materials and healthcare waste.

Article continues after advertisement

She adds this can impact our local food sources, as well as the health and safety of our communities.

Bulai adds they’re working around the clock to assist the vulnerable communities to improve their waste management system to reduce health-related risks and food security issues post-disaster.

“Disaster waste management does not always have to be the responsibility of national governments. But there’s opportunity to partner up with private sectors and local industries to help elevate some of those burdens and ensure that disaster response work is holistic, not only focusing on building back infrastructure, but also improving waste management for the countries.”

Bulai says SPREP is beefing up its collaboration with key partners to mainstream disaster waste into the national disaster management framework in the region.

She adds communities in the rural and maritime areas are a priority and discussions on how to further assist them are being deliberated at the APMCDRR underway in Brisbane, Australia.