NATION

Board: Stop Littering, Vandalising Floodgates

Seawater spilling into the irrigation system at Vuo Tiri, outside Labasa causing the damage to sugarcane and other crops were done deliberately, says the Labasa Drainage Board. The board said
14 Jan 2016 10:59
Board: Stop Littering,  Vandalising Floodgates
Vuo Tiri farmers stand beside seawater filled drains in their farm while they witness sugarcane dying out in Labasa; First from left: Kesh lal, Prahalad, Sami Naicker and Rahul Chand.

Seawater spilling into the irrigation system at Vuo Tiri, outside Labasa causing the damage to sugarcane and other crops were done deliberately, says the Labasa Drainage Board.

The board said some people living within the area had tempered with the floodgates by living them open for fishing purposes and some people had been dumping rubbish in the irrigation canals or drains.

“We request farmers living near floodgates to report vandalism and littering activities to us,” senior engineer for Land and Water Resource Management (LWRM) Joseva Sautu, said.

He said the board had received complaints from some farmers whose crops were affected because of seawater spilling into the irrigation and into farms.

“Floodgate doors are being blocked by people for fishing purposes or during disputes. These acts are usually being carried out at night and the board is pleading to the general public to refrain from blocking the floodgate doors because farms located within the vicinity rely on the irrigation,” Mr Sautu said.

“Some people also dump rubbish and that leads to blockage in the floodgates. Farmers benefitting from the Sugarcane Drainage Scheme know of the vandalism occurring on the floodgates. Our field officers have attended to the farmers’ complaints and found that some people had deliberately blocked the floodgate covers.”

“The Board spends a lot of money on rehabilitating the floodgates every year. This year the Board will be fabricating and installing new trash racks, concrete top covers to protect the floodgate doors from being blocked by rubbish or being vandalised by people.”

Meanwhile, farmer Prahalad, one of the oldest sugarcane farmers in Vuo Tiri, said: “The intrusion of seawater into farmlands is occurring in most low line areas in the North including Wailevu, Korovatu and Tabucola sugarcane farmlands located just outside Labasa.”

The 74-year-old claimed that Vuo Tiri was the worst affected because of seawater spilling into farms.

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper