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River Mouth Dredging Impresses Reddy

River Mouth Dredging Impresses Reddy
Minister for Waterways Mahendra Reddy (left) with his staff inspecting the dredging work carried out at Qawa River mouth in Labasa on January 12, 2018. Photo: Shratika Naidu
January 13
17:43 2018

The environment and cost impact of flooding in Labasa will no longer be a problem, now that dredging works by the Ministry of Waterways has started on the Qawa River mouth.

Yesterday the Minister for Waterways, Mahendra Reddy, took a one-hour boat ride to inspect how the work was carried out by employees working on two different shifts.

He was impressed by the way silt was removed and felt assured that from this year residents and businesses in and around Labasa will not live in fear again.

“This important work will continue in other parts of Labasa area to ensure that there is effective flow of water,” he said.

The dredging work will benefit areas like Soasoa flats, Vunika, Vuo, Malau, Bulileka, Batinikama, Namoli, Korotari, Korowiri, Nacula, Naqai, Nagigi, Waiwari, Matailabasa and Korovatu.

It has been observed that when it rains heavily there is less water flow because the Qawa River mouth was covered with silt.

“We found out the silt at the Qawa River mouth was so much that anyone can walk on it,” Mr Reddy said.

“The navigation channel will also be dredged and it will assist Labasa Town and low-lying areas.

“There are some floodgates, which are not operational because there is less continuous flow of water. For instance, we received this complaint from Korovatu and we will do dredging works there.”

Meanwhile, while standing on the dredging machine, Mr Reddy said the machine had been in use for close to 30 years and would be shipped to Suva after all work was complete.

“We will buy a new dredger. This is a Government dredger and will soon retire due to its extensive usage,” the minister said.

“Government has allocated funds for the provision of new dredgers.”

The dredging work at the Qawa River mouth is expected to be completed within two weeks.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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