The Ifira Marine Management (IMM) has initiated a coastal lease awareness that is taking place this week for lease holders along the coastal areas from Tebakor to Dream Cove.
IMM representatives Edward Kalsakau, Rodney Sope and Nelson Bakokoto confirmed the conservation project has been registered under the Conservation Act No.12.
Kalsakau stated that a notice was given out to people residing along these coastal areas to ensure proper sanitation as part of the conservation project.
“Households using bush toilets that are located near the coast should remove them out of the coastal area to higher ground or find another location away from the coast,” he said.
“Also, we asking everyone to find a proper dump site to throw their rubbish and not near the coast or in the sea and ensure proper separation and disposal of household garbage.”
Kalsakau said the purpose of the awareness is to let the people know that the project was established to combat the heavy pollution in Port Vila harbor.
“Due to the reports by surveys done by the Department of Water and the Department of Environment, the IMM has made steps to address the issue through awareness and conservation of the coastal area mentioned,” he said.
The IMM has strongly urged the Port Vila Municipal Council to control the daily disposal of sewage at the harbor and carry out checks on sewage drainage that might be dumped into the sea at the Port Vila harbor.
“We also appeal to the beautification project along the seafront to assist in keeping the sea clean in terms of making sure the garbage is disposed at the right place,” Kalsakau said.
“We have a management plan in place with management rules and law inside that is accessible to the public to have a read on the requirements under IMM to keep our coastal environment clean and safe.
“There are penalties if anyone has breached or do not comply with the management rules.”
Kalsakau reiterated that IMM encourages everyone living along the coastal areas to feel responsible to take care of the environment and keep Port Vila city clean.
“This is an awareness to all leaseholders along the coast to comply and respect the conservation project, at the end of the day this will benefit their businesses and the surrounding communities,” he concluded.
IMM is working closely with the Department of Biosecurity, the Maritime Regulator and Ports and Harbor to enforce laws and the Department of Environment to regulate pollution in Port Vila.