21 Jul 2011

Community backing needed to beat slow bureacucracy says Cooks govt official

12:26 pm on 21 July 2011

The manager of the Cook Islands' water quality programme says community backing is hastening government efforts to clean up a Rarotonga lagoon that's one of the country's biggest tourist drawcards.

Preliminary results from an audit of the island's household septic tanks show 90 percent of them aren't working properly and New Zealand is funding a three year programme that will upgrade them.

At Muri Lagoon the pollution is caused by a combination of liquid waste from households, pig farms and tourist resorts and the process of replacing old septic tanks with a model that reduces the levels of nitrogen and phosphates has begun.

Dorothy Solomona says she's happy something's being done.

"We need the communites to push the projects forward because you know the government processes they're quite slow so with the community behind us it'll push it faster."

The manager of the Cook Islands' water quality programme, Dorothy Solomona.