6 May 2004

Cook Islanders urged to discuss polluted lagoon

6:32 am on 6 May 2004

Residents on the south east of Rarotonga in the Cook Islands are being urged to attend meetings this week to discuss pollution problems in the lagoon.

Titikaveka residents reject claims by the government that symptoms suffered by school children are the result of algal bloom.

Public Health officials are advising residents and visitors not to swim in Titikaveka lagoon.

Resident, Mike Carr says the government should conduct more tests and release existing test results.

School children shown by Cook Islands Television have complained of having a sore nose and throat when breathing, as well as scratchy eyes and sneezing.

Fellow resident June Baudinet says the government is not being open enough with the people when it comes to the causes of lagoon pollution in Rarotonga.

A similar meeting is being called in the district of Takitumu which has also reported pollution problems.

Tourism is the Cook Islands number one industry but it is now receiving some of the blame for the pollution.