23 Dec 2014

Sewage prompts warnings in Suva

4:15 pm on 23 December 2014

Authorities in Fiji's capital are warning people to restrict their use of waterways and the Suva waterfront after a broken pipe spilled millions of litres of raw sewage into the Samabula river.

Earlier this month the wastewater trunkline that carries all untreated waste from the greater Suva area to a Treatment Plant collapsed because of flooding.

Chinese fishing boats tie up in Suva

Water in Suva. Photo: RNZ / Philippa Tolley

The head of National Disaster Management Manasa Tagicakibau says up until Monday night sewage had been released into the river at a rate of 200 litres per second for over two weeks.

Mr Tagicakibau says although the break is now fixed people should still refrain from any contact with the river and the sea whether for food or recreational purposes.

"We have put up notices along the foreshore and also along the river waterways and we also are working through the communities, going from household to household disseminating the message not to use the water for the next two to three weeks."

Mr Tagicakibau says no related illnesses have been reported among the 6,000 people living near the river.