‘Stay away from chemical site’   - Solomon Star News

‘Stay away from chemical site’  

06 July 2018
Police and Ministry of environment working on disposing chemicals.



THE community of Tuvaruhu in central Honiara are strongly advised to stay away from the cordoned area where the dumped toxic chemicals were found.

Police Commissioner Matthew Varley issued the warning as police and environmental officers moved in to remove the chemicals.

 “Your cooperation and support is really important,” Mr Varley said.

He said the police will be continuing to keep the community update on that.

“Rest assured the Fire and Rescue hazard team knows what they are doing and so do the responsible ministry authorities and the specialised scientists and chemists that we have been talking to from the Ministry of Environment as well.

“I want to stress that this is a very serious case of environmental damage and environmental crime.

“We are taking these very seriously.”

“It is against the law for people to dump chemicals like this in ways that can cause harm to our communities, obviously our environment and our water ways.

“At the stage, I am confident that the risk has been contained, that there is no apparent risk to community at this point.

“But I do stress that at this stage, Solomon Water has turned off one of their water source sites in the area as safety precaution.

“They are continuing to do water testing on the bore closest to the area where the chemicals were located.

“And that is good, safe and normal procedure.

“At this stage too we are working with the ministry of mines and environment to also assess whether there are any other further environmental risks but I need to stress at this point, all of the information to date looks good.

“People across the ministries are doing a great work working to make sure this is cleaned up as quickly as best as possible.”

Mr Varley thanked the community for their patience and understanding.

“At this point in time, we have had also good cooperation already on a number of witnesses coming forward as to how the chemicals were dumped there at the first point.

“Please stay away from the area over the next day or two while we are continuing to do the mop up and clean up.

“We are doing it as fast as we can.

“However, people please do understand that this is not a simple case of just picking things up and moving them out.

“We have to do it in accordance with the required technical guidelines on handling these chemicals, not only community safety but also for the safety of the officers and staff that are involved.

“The number one precaution has to be safety first and that is why this sort of operation takes some time, but our officers are well trained in this.”

Mr Varley said he has every confidence with his officers from the fire and rescue and ministry of environment can take care of all of this.