Technical Director of the Te Ipukarea Society, Kelvin Passfield says a shower block is being built right next to the Avarua School stream for use during Te Maeva Nui, with a discharge pipe going straight into the stream.
“The workers there say the waste is going into a soak pit first, before it goes into the pipe, which goes into the stream. That’s what they say, but I don’t know if it’s true,” he says.
“But even then, the soak pit is right beside the stream. The level of nutrients coming in from the soaps, conditioners, shampoos and whatever the people will be using will pretty much be going straight into the stream.”
Passfield says it’s a concern and probably against the law.
“I don’t know who provided the approval to put a soak pit so close to a stream, where the shower would go.”
A Cook Islands Investment Corporation spokesperson confirmed the waste water pipe would be going into a soak pit beside the showers.
“The soak pit has been dug up in the ground. It’s close to the stream but it isn’t going into the stream.
“They just built the showers for the Te Maeva Nui and they will be used for two and a half weeks.”
The Ministry of Infrastructure Cook Islands’ WATSAN unit did not wish to publicly respond on the matter, referring CI News to the Ministry of Health.
However despite several attempts, CI News was unable to gain a response from the Ministry of Health.