LäjeRotuma Initiative

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Objectives of the Coastline Cleanup

In association with the Dive In to Earth Day celebrations (15-22 April 2002) LäjeRotuma, the Island's Health Inspector and community youth trainers on the island, coordinated a coastline cleanup:


1) to remove debris

2) to collect valuable information on the amount and type of debris

3) and use the information collected to effect positive change.



The cleanup was carried out a week before Rotuma Day celebrations. Rotumans all over the world celebrate on May 13th, the Deed of Cession of Rotuma to Great Britain in 1881. LäjeRotuma enlisted a trained volunteer from Suva to represent the core group at the island cleanup. It was a dawn cleanup along the coastline during low tide. Volunteers use woven baskets to collect the debris picked at the beach. Then debris sorted, recorded before buried in pits dug out by volunteers. There were a total 422 participants which included youths, parents and school children. The cleanups per district were coordinated by LäjeRotuma community youth trainer(s) and the visiting Health Inspector. The dates below basically outlined the schedule for the coordinated first island coastline cleanup 2002:


April 26  Community youth trainers' meeting with Health Inspector

May  4     Noatau District Cleanup

        6     Oinafa District

        7     Malhaha District

        8     Itumuta District

        9     Juju District

        10    Pepjei District

        11     Ituti'u District

May  13    Rotuma (Cession) Day Celebrations



  • debris-free coastline
  • established the volunteer network on the island between the Health Inspector and  community youth trainers who coordinated cleanups in their districts
  • determined the level of coastline 'dumping' from debris-data collected
  • island community becomes familiar with LäjeRotuma!




Amount of debris collected Percentage

Average number of debris collected per volunteer


23 %



4 %



25 %



12 %



9 %



16 %



11 %





Note: The graph demonstrates the amount of debris (in percentage) collected per district during the week-long cleanup. It also reflects the level of participation as witnessed by the organizers: the more people, the more debris collected!



A good percentage of broken glass collected are from beer bottles. Corn beef & Tinfish cans representative of the cans category. Household rubbish included cloth, nylon lines, shoes, batteries, roofing iron and metal scrap.  



Participants in the first ever coordinated Island coastline cleanup agree that 'to effect positive change', cleanups be done at least annually. However, it is anticipated that for every six months, initiatives be taken at village level to organize their cleanups. For collection and proper disposal of cleanup-debris, dug out pits are recommended in isolated spots and away from ‘planted coconut trees'. LäjeRotuma is to follow up with its debris-data collection, to monitor the effectiveness of the environmental marine awareness development programs carried out throughout the year.



The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL)

Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network

International Coral Reef Initiative

South Pacific Regional Environmental Programme

Caribbean Environment Programme

East Asian Seas Regional Seas Programme

Eastern African Regional Seas Programme

United Nations Foundation

The World Fish Center (ICLARM)

UNEP- World Conservation Monitoring Center

World Resources Institute

International Ocean Institute- Pacific Islands

PADI Project AWARE Foundation

PADI Foundation

Rotuma Website- Alan Howard

Fiji Government

Rotuma Island Council


LäjeRotuma acknowledge the assistance of:

Rotuma Health Inspector- Mr Henry Vafo'ou

District Officer- Rotuma

LäjeRotuma Island Coordinator- Marseu Manueli

LäjeRotuma volunteer- David Solomone

Community Youth Trainers- Fanny, James, Hazel (Tuakoi), Mareta (Tuai)

Mata, Righun, Ritie (Oinafa District), Veronica, Marsefo (Pepjei),Faga, Junior (Noatau)

Communities of Noatau, Oinafa, Pepjei, Juju, Malhaha, Ituti'u, Itumuta

Paptea District School

Malhaha District School

Christ the King

Motusa District School

Rotuma Island Council

International Ocean Institute-  Prof. Robin South, Joeli Veitayaki

Department of Environment, Fiji - Library Services