Only cyclone can fix water woes: Prasad
By Elenoa Baselala
February 20, 2010
A TROPICAL depression or cyclone is what it would take to end water supply shortages in the country.
Director of the Fiji Meteorological Office, Rajendra Prasad, said a tropical depression or cyclone would get us out of the situation.
While February is regarded as part of the wet season, he says it has only rained in some parts of the country.
“There are places where the grass has turned green while there are others where the grass is still brown,” he said.
“We are still receiving below average rainfall and it was not as widespread as we had expected.”
Mr Prasad has urged companies that rely on rainwater to prepare themselves. He said reservoirs and dams could have a trouble with supply this season. The dry season begins in May.
Last month, the weather office classified certain areas to be under a “meteorological drought”.
These areas were Navua, Koronivia, Nausori, Labasa, Savusavu, Taveuni and Lakeba. Those in the “warning” stage are Yasawa-i-rara, Viwa, Vatukoula, Ba, Tavua, Sigatoka, Dobuilevu, Dreketi, Seaqaqa, Suva, Nabouwalu, Kadavu and Udu Point.
A meteorological drought is declared if rainfall is well below expected levels for an extended period. Source
Update March 17 2010:
Well they got a Cyclone. I really do not see how this will help anyone however. Other then maybe some reporters will make it into the disaster area to survey and talk to the people. Seems Reporters have a hard time in Fiji however.
Of course Guess who makes huge profits at the expense of all concerned.
They take the resources and the hell with the people who should have access to them.
Fiji Water: So cool, so fresh, so bad for the environment?
By SARAH GILBERT
August 24 2009
The story of Fiji Water, as detailed in a startling investigative piece in Mother Jones magazine this month, seems familiar. Leafing through the story, I found myself trying to remember where I’d read this tale before; like an old melody at the back of my brain, it hovered, just beyond memory.
Suddenly it came to me: it’s Dole, it’s United Fruit, it’s West Indies Sugar Corporation, it’s the old, old story. A company located in a lush, tropical location with a totalitarian government that welcomes foreign interests with deep pockets. It doesn’t tax them, gives them access to the country’s most precious natural resources, and stands by with heavy artillery in hand, protecting them while they strip the country.
What makes this story so difficult to swallow is how eagerly the U.S. seems to have embraced Fiji’s co-owners Stewart and Lynda Resnick. On this side of the Pacific, the pair cheerfully line the pockets of any political figure in sight (they supported both McCain and Obama in the past election) while selling Fiji’s best, cleanest water at a huge profit. On the other side of the ocean, the people of Fiji suffer under terrible water conditions that have led to outbreaks of typhoid and parasitic infections.
It appears that America adores the Resnicks: Lynda brags that she knows “everyone in the world, every mogul, every movie star.” These relationships have proven handy, as the Resnicks have reaped $1.5 million a year in water subsidies for their almond, pistachio and pomegranate crops in the U.S.
These agricultural water subsidies must be viewed in context: the stress from travelling to pollinate the almond “monoculture” crops like the ones the Resnicks grow, along with the pesticides they sell, are considered to be some of the major reasons that bees are succumbing to colony collapse disorder. And the Resnicks control an enormous amount of California water infrastructure that was built by public funds. They have a 48 percent interest in the Kern Water Bank, which was meant to collect water from aqueducts and the Kern River and to redistribute this water in times of drought.
%Poll-33708% The Resnicks and their Paramount Farms and Paramount Citrus could use the water to irrigate their fields (which are already subsidized by the government), or they could sell it to municipalities. According to critics, the Resnicks are “trying to ‘game’ the water market the way Enron gamed the energy market.”
So the Resnicks are not known for their even-handedness with politicians or water, and their practices in the U.S. are not the greenest of all possible greens. In fact, they could share responsibility for many of our environmental woes. They could have a hand in California’s future water shortages, during which they could profit gloriously. All the while, they are loudly and proudly marketing Fiji Water as the most environmentally friendly bottled water company in the world.
This, of course, is not saying much. Bottled water is notorious for its position in top five lists of “what not to do” for the planet. One day, future civilizations will look back on this decade and wonder in disbelief why it was that we pumped water out of one part of the planet, encased it in plastic, then encased it again for shipping, and spent many many non-renewable resources to bring it to another part of the planet where clean water was already plentiful. It’s patently ridiculous.
The story is disturbing because of the truths it tells us about ourselves and our society. It’s not just the water thing. It’s the marketing. Lynda Resnick has been repeatedly described as a marketing genius for her ability to transform Fiji Water into a must-have accessory for environmentally-conscious celebrities and politicians, despite its heavy use of plastic and questionable commitment to environmentally sustainable practices. And oh, we are drinking the marketing at far greater rates than we are drinking the water. Our celebrities both enormous (Obama, Paris, and their ilk) and minor (the geekarati at the SXSW festival) can’t live without it. So neither can we. Whatever celebrities sell us? YUM. Damn the consequences.
It’s troubling, at the end of the story, that the company is not, as Anna Lenzer writes in her follow-up to the story (after Fiji Water spokesman Rob Six defended his company) doing anything about the military junta now controlling Fiji. “A UN official . . . in a recent commentary . . . singled out Fiji Water as the one company with enough leverage to force the junta to budge.”
The commentary, by the way, was titled “Why Obama should stop drinking Fiji water.”
Update: A spokesman for Roll International Corporation, the parent company of Fiji Water, contacted DailyFinance, claiming that there are factual errors in the piece. Roll International maintains that Fiji Water is not profitable, and that the company does not receive subsidies from the state of California.
One has to wonder how many other Corporations are stealing Fiji Resources?
Considering the Poverty one would think any company or corporation would be a bit more responsible. Seems of course this is not the case however.
What is Poverty in Fiji
Poverty is a difficult concept to understand and maintain an objective perspective.
Poverty in Fiji identifies those households, which cannot afford the basic minimum nutritionally adequate and palatable diet. It also define as that situation in which people are unable to obtain sufficient amounts of food, water, shelter, clothing, education and health care to meet their basic needs.
This poverty line is simply a certain level of income or expenditure below which an individual or family will be deprived of the basic necessities of life for a specified time and period. It is calculated in terms of expenditure for a nutritionally adequate diet plus expenditure for non-food items such rent, clothing, fuel etc.
Overview of Poverty in Fiji
In a recent study in Fiji it was found that one quarter of the household’s were classified as poor, but many more were in constant danger of sliding into poverty or destitution because their household income was so small. The study also found that the poor were not a homogenous group –poor people were not necessarily subsistence farmers, the unemployed or the lazy. Most poor households had someone in employment. The basic needs poverty line in Fiji was $83 (gross income) per week at national level. Source
Of course with poverty comes Prostitution.
Poverty linked to prostitution
Monday, February 15, 2010
Prostitution can not be wiped out in Fiji as long as poverty exists, says the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre (FWCC) co-ordinator Shamima Ali.
Ms Ali says tougher laws on prostitution will impact but it will still exist.
“There are higher chances that prostitution will be pushed into being an underground activity,” she said.
“It is a very old profession and goes back so many years, and the poverty and lack of education for women is not helping either.”
Ms Ali said prostitution was fuelled by men’s desire for sex.
She said the Crime Decree was a good approach to fight sex crimes and the sex trade.
But, she said, the root of the problem was poverty and this had to be eradicated first.
Ms Ali said the level of poverty in some areas of the country was extreme and the FWCC was aware of cases where wives turned to prostitution to earn money for the family.
She said the sex trade provided easy and more money than legal employment.
Meanwhile, police, on the other hand, will crackdown on all those involved in the sex trade industry.
Police suspect that massage parlours and some hotels are involved in the trade.
An investigation by the police has come up with startling revelations that people are getting much more than just a massage at parlours, said the police spokesman, Sergeant Suliano Tevita.
“Our investigations have shown us that people are given rooms in massage parlours and we suspect that this is for the purpose of prostitution.”
Sgt Tevita said the implementation of the new anti-prostitution law in the Crimes Decree had given the police power to prosecute people associated with the sex trade industry.
“Similarly, hotel and motel owners and management can also face charges if police find them facilitating prostitution in their establishments,” he warned.
The Crimes Decree states that people who make a living off prostitution are liable for a jail term of six months, while people caught hiring prostitutes can get jail terms of up to 12 years.
Anyone found operating a brothel or services which procure prostitution are liable for prosecution. The penalties are harsher when the crime involves people under the age of 18.
Under the new decree, this crime is punishable by a prison sentence of 12 months. The decree also states that any person residing with a prostitute is also liable.
Punishment in regards to prostitution ranges from 12 years to three months in jail and also includes fines. Source