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Friday 18 November 2011 | Published in Regional


This year, the WATSAN unit is proud to have the opportunity to provide silver sponsorship to Vaka Eiva 2011.

WATSANs key objectives relate to improving waste management practices and raising public awareness of waste management issues. We are setting the pathway for our future to ensure our lagoon is healthy and a sustainable resource for all of us to enjoy.

WATSAN has worked with Vaka Eiva to create the Greening of Vaka Eiva campaign, with the aim of keeping the waste generated from this event as low as possible lessening impact on the environment, and keeping paddlers and spectators aware of recycling and waste minimisation.

This year Vaka Eiva will be using Muri Beach for a number of races and events throughout the week.

The Greening of Vaka Eiva campaign ensures that rubbish is collected and sorted into the correct waste bins.

There will be separate bins for aluminium cans, plastic bottles, glass bottles and general landfill waste.

A group of designated volunteers will be responsible for ensuring that rubbish is disposed of in the appropriate bins. They will also keep records of the volumes and diversity of rubbish generated throughout the competition.

The organisers of Vaka Eiva also will ensure that food scraps generated from functions throughout the week will be separated and disposed of as garden compost or pig feed. The renowned opening feast will be served with biodegradable crockery and cutlery.

Additionally, a collection of portable toilets will be stationed in Avarua and at Muri during race days.

With high numbers of paddlers taking part in the competition as well as spectators, the wastewater generated will be collected in portaloos and transported to the Rarotonga Waste Facility in Arorangi for disposal and treatment.

To add fun, excitement and a touch of island flavour to WATSANs sponsorship of Vaka Eiva, locally printed WATSAN pareu will be up for grabs during the sprint races at Muri beach on Tuesday November 22 and Friday November 25.

As part of further collateral awareness promotion of project related activities under WATSAN, five quick questions relating to this article and project developments under WATSAN will be asked to anyone willing to receive a free pareu.

Further clues to the answers can also be found in the WATSAN brochures that will be handed out in the paddler packs or is readily available at our Muri site office.

If you get all answers correct, you will be the proud owner of a locally made and printed WATSAN pareu.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning and WATSAN take pride in supporting community events to ensure that waste is managed efficiently and in an environmentally sound manner.

International events naturally attract more people to the Cook Islands, leading to an increase in the volume and diversity of waste generated.

It is extremely important that as these events get bigger and more popular, we, along with the National Environment Services (NES) work to ensure that we continue to follow good waste management practices.

You can also play your part in looking after the environment. We urge you to be mindful of the generation and disposal of your waste.

Separate your plastic bottles, aluminium cans and glass bottles from general landfill waste before putting it out for road side collection.

Compost your organic / green wastes or feed food scraps to the pigs.

If you are going to be out and about spending time on the beach or at public places, be sure to take along a garbage bag for your rubbish, and please do not leave any glass, plastic containers or metal cans on or around our beaches.

If you do they will end up in the water, creating a health hazard for our children, damaging sensitive marine life and spoiling our beautiful environment.

By taking your waste home and disposing of it properly you will be part of our effort to make sure that we keep our islands clean, green and pristine.

For updates on WATSAN, follow us on Facebook at Watsan Cook Islands.