A 60 seater public bus, painted with images and messages to encourage water conservation and recycling, is now travelling the Lautoka to Nadi route in Fiji following its launch on the 2nd of February.
In an effort to raise public awareness on environmental issues for the people of Nadi and Lautoka, Fiji’s Department of Environment (DoE) in partnership with the Land and Water Resources Management (LWRM) launched the bus in the city of Lautoka. This is the second bus to have been painted with environment awareness messages to increase visibility and advocacy of Fiji’s natural environment. The first bus was launched in Suva last year.
Speaking at the launch, Environment Minister Colonel Samuela Saumatua said environmental awareness and capacity-building are vital to the development of a changed mindset.
"The Fiji Government is committed to achieving a sustainable environment and is also committed to its biodiversity protection obligation under the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity," he added.
Students of primary and secondary schools in the city of Lautoka were also present at the launch and have pledged their support towards the awareness campaign. The minister commended their support and stated that the environment depended greatly on these students.
"Children are our future and they hold the key to continue protecting our environment," he said.
This awareness campaign which also includes billboard signs stems from the project deliverables of the Nadi Demonstration Project currently being executed by Fiji’s Department of Environment, IUCN, LWRM and SOPAC’s Pacific GEF Integrated Water Resources Management Project. Awareness raising is a critical component for the project and the people of Nadi and Lautoka must be made aware of current environmental issues and what they can do to address these issues.
The designs on the bus promote sustainable water management practices and the 3(R)s concept i.e. “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle” for proper waste management. Preparation is also underway to do a similar launch of an eco-bus design for the Northern Division.