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Government To Probe Cause Of Rakiraki Flooding

Government To Probe Cause Of Rakiraki Flooding
Minister for Local Government, Environment, Housing, Infrastructure and Transport, Parveen Bala (second from left), assess the damage caused by the flood in Rakiraki. Photo: Charles Chambers
December 23
11:00 2016

 

Government is committed to do a thorough investigation of the destructive flooding that swept through Rakiraki.

The Minister for Local Government, Environment, Housing, Infrastructure and Transport, Parveen Bala, said this investigation would not be just another report that would be shelved.

Mr Bala said the reason for the flooding should be identified and the findings on what should be done implemented.

“This can only happen through a thorough investigation and not by someone just coming to do a report,” he said.

Mr Bala said he would also look at the developments that had taken place beside the Vaileka River, which runs adjacent to the town.

“The other thing that we should understand is that there have been a lot of developments in and around the river itself,” the minister said.

“There have been some big walls built.”

Mr Bala referred to some buildings that had built high retaining walls beside the river. He said this may have caused the flooding as well.

Mr Bala said a number of points were raised in a meeting by some residents that the Vaileka River, which runs through the town, was shallow and needed dredging.

“Definitely we will need to see what the main reason for the flooding was,” Mr Bala said.

Meanwhile, Fiji Electricity Authority workers and staff members of the Water Authority worked tirelessly to have power restored at the pump station at Gallau on Wednesday afternoon.

Power and water supply was disrupted on Monday after two FEA power posts fell over.

This led to a power shut down in Rakiraki while the water pump station was swallowed by floodwaters.

Mr Bala said a temporary generator was brought in to run the pumps with water and power supply restored in some areas.

“I have a meeting with the WAF board and we will have to see how we can retain the location of the pump station and do work on building a retaining wall,” Mr Bala said.

“If we are not going to do a retaining wall, then I have a feeling there can be soil erosion that could cause damage to the building itself, so definitely that needs to happen quickly and we cannot waste time on that cause its very near to the building where the pump is.”

Mr Bala said he had been assured by FEA that power would be restored at the pump station by yesterday afternoon.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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