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Waisali villagers anticipate better crop returns following road repairs

Waisali villagers anticipate better crop returns following road repairs
The two-kilometer section of the Traninsular Road outside of Savusavu being upgraded. PICTURE: SUPPLIED
November 14
11:00 2017

Economic activities will definitely be increased at Waisali Village, 25 kilometres outside Savusavu Town following the recent two kilometre road improvement.

Fulton Hogan Hiways (FHH) is currently stabilising and overlaying the road while grading it to a positive cross-fall to remove water from its surface.

FHH is contracted by the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) to provide road access in the Central, Northern and Eastern divisions.

Thirty-year old yaqona farmer, Dovi Navakacagi, says that the ‘old’ road used to deter taxi and truck drivers from driving from the nearest town of Savusavu.

“Commercial drivers were never keen to bring us here because of the poor road condition,” said Ms Navakacagi.

“The road improvement will assist us transport our crops and goods to the market,” she said.

“We can expect more cash returns from our crops as travelling is easier now.”

Raijeli Talemaiwasa, 30, also a yaqona farmer, echoed Ms Navakacagi’s sentiments.

“The drivers used to dread coming to our area. I am so glad that the portion of road to my place has been repaired so we do not have to beg drivers to bring us here,” said MsTalemaiwasa.

FHH Stabilising and Construction Crew Supervisor, George Hughes, said that they were also widening corners.

“Vehicles used on these roads have increased in number and size. The curves were not wide enough to accommodate long and/or wide trucks so we have to widen the corners to give drivers safe and smooth driving,” said Mr Hughes.

He said they are carrying out cement stabilisation to the pavement prior to sealing, and once completed the road would be more resilient. Work crews, added Mr Hughes, have also cleared drainage and cut new storm-water runoffs in areas where water had been flowing onto the road. Preliminary work was also done by installing sub-soil drains to prevent water from coming up through the pavement.

The Waisali stretch has almost 1000 villagers that include farmers living alongside the road, who supply the Savusavu and Labasa markets with yaqona and fresh vegetables.

Source: Fulton Hogan Hiways

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