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Washed Away Crossing Makes Students’ Travels Harder

Washed Away Crossing Makes Students’ Travels Harder
Udhay Raj of Sarayawa Mountain View Road in Nadi points to the crossing which was washed away in flood waters while his family stands on the other side of the crossing on January 2018. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawa
January 19
11:00 2018

This is the only crossing that my children use and now it has been washed away by floodwaters, they had to miss classes because of this problem: Sugarcane farmer

The three children of 46-year-old Udhay Raj, walk about three kilometres daily to get to the nearest bus stop in Sarayawa Mountain View Road, Nadi.

The sugarcane farmer’s concern now is that the only crossing that his three children use to cross every morning was washed away by flood waters a few days ago.

His children attend Savusavu Public School and he has been staying in the area with his family for decades. The area consists of three households.

“This is the only crossing that my children use and now it has been washed away by flood waters, they had to miss classes because of this problem,” Mr Raj said.

He said the children would wake up at around 5.30am because it took them an hour to walk to the nearest bus stop. From the bus stop, it would take another half kilometre by minibus to reach the main road.

“By 6.30am they are ready and then they walk about three kilometres to reach the bus stop and they do the same after school. Sometimes they couldn’t do their homework because they are tired,” Mr Udhay said.

He held back his tears as he tried to explain the struggles the children faced on a daily basis.

“The thing is they just put the two culverts and buried soil on it without putting some strong foundation. This is the reason it gets washed away during rainy weather,” Mr Udhay said.

He said despite raising his concerns with the Nadi District Officer, there was still no response and it was the reason he opted to turn to the media.

Nadi District Officer, Faiyaz Ali was frustrated when approached for an interview in Nadi stating that going to the media wouldn’t solve the problem.

He said that he just got into office four months ago and it was the last district officer, who had been transferred to Rotuma, who handled last year’s issues.

“I have met him (Mr Raj) yesterday and I don’t know why he wants to go to the media. These kinds of people are called back stabbers.

“I had emailed his concerns to the Fiji Roads Authority and Land Transport Authority. Now I am just awaiting their response to my emails,” he added.

Mr Ali made a clarification that particular roads were cane access roads.

“But it’s good that this man has gone to the media and now the ministry responsible will see the problem.”

Edited by Jonathan Bryce


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