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Minister of Lands, Edward Nalyal, has expressed his alarm at the terrible state of contamination in both the Emten (second) and Ekasuvat (first) Lagoons.

He made this clear during the “Vois Blong Erakor Bridge” event on Saturday.

Minister Nalyal said he understands that sewage discharge of the Vila Central Hospital (VCH) contributes to a lot of the contamination in both lagoons which he says is caused by e-coli and algae. This reduces the oxygen levels in the water which kills the fish.

Minister Nalyal says the VCH sewage discharge is the government’s responsibility and the previous government should have done something about the situation. He explained that in other nations, sewage remains on land, not in the ocean.

With that being said, the Minister said this government will stop the sewage being discharged into the lagoons as he will have talks with the Prime Minister and Minister of Health for a new sewage facility to be built.

He says this would be a modern facility which extracts water and other solids from the waste so they can be used again.

Nalyal was taken on a canoe ride around both Emten and part of Ekasuvat Lagoons by the residents of Erakor Bridge, during which he sighted only four seabirds, starfish and a few jellyfish.

Apart from the canoe ride, the Minister, along with the chiefs, also put in place the namele leaf which states that there is an effective ban on fishing in the lagoons.

Minister Nalyal who has lived in Port Vila for 38 years recalled the lagoons being clean, clear and blue in the past. Today, it is a greenish murky colour.

The Minister added there will be a legal ban on swimming in the lagoons.

He thanked the organizers of the event and said awareness days as such should become an annual event.