Rugby league players assist in the collection of 884 kilograms of rubbish in clean-up campaign
The clean-up campaign was an effort to raise awareness on littering and the need for a cleaner environment by the rugby league players, who this Saturday will be vying for the ten Fiji Bati Rugby League World Cup spots that are up for grabs when they meet the Fiji Bati Overseas Residents at the ANZ stadium.
WWF-Pacific climate change support officer, Apolosa Robaigau highlighted that around 480 metres of Tikaram Park’s shoreline was covered.
“We collected 146.5 kilograms of plastics, 212.5 kilograms of bottles, 66 kilograms of metal and 459 kilograms of other waste materials such as clothes and parts electronic equipment today.”
“The waste collected comprised of both biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste materials. From the amount and number of rubbish materials collected, we can see there is a need for surrounding communities in the area to have proper waste management strategies in place and also more awareness is need as well,” Robaigau said.
According to Fiji Bati Residents head coach, Joe Rabele Dakuitoga, the initiative was a first of its kind for the team to undertake.
“We are so grateful today to be part of this programme, especially in keeping Fiji clean and helping the Lami Town Council in cleaning their foreshore. It is also an eye opener for us to see how some of our beaches are not that clean as well so we would also like to encourage Fijians to keep their surroundings, neighbourhoods and even parks and foreshores clean,” said Dakuitoga.
For Fiji Bati Residents vice-captain, Tikiko Noke, such initiatives paves the way for the players to give back to the communities.
“We are glad to be here to help keep the Tikaram Park and its foreshore clean. As we could see there is quite a lot of rubbish here and the collection bags were not enough.”
“And also as Fijians, we should try to keep our surrounding environments clean. Especially our parks and beaches as we regularly use these and they also serve as tourist attractions as well,” added Fiji Bati Residents vice-captain, Tikiko Noke.
The clean-up initiative was a partnership between the Fiji National Rugby League and the Lami Town Council, and its facilitation by WWF-Pacific.
“This is a good partnering with Fiji National Rugby League and WWF-Pacific as any help in cleaning our park and foreshore is most welcomed by the council. We also hope that such partnerships can grow as well with more such initiatives such as this planned for the future,” highlighted Lami Town Council chief executive officer, Tema Hanfiro.
Robaigau added involving national sporting figures to engage in such activities works well in strengthening such awareness with communities and that similar clean-up campaigns should be organized for Lami and its surrounding foreshore.