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Grog Farmers In Macuata Happy With New Crossing

Grog Farmers In Macuata Happy With New Crossing
Culvert replacement works at Nadogovalovoni outside Labasa nearing completion by FHH subcontractors.
April 21
13:20 2018

Heavy rain from the recent Tropical Cyclone Josie and Tropical Cyclone Keni has done little to deter roads works in areas such as Wainikoro, Macuata.

Yaqona farmers depend so much on easy market access. The pres­sure has been on Fulton Hogan Hi­ways, who has been contracted by Fiji Roads Authority to repair and restore damaged crossings.

For farmers like Teti Bili any indi­cation of improvements in accessi­bility in areas such as Nadogovalo­voni in Wainikoro, 20 kilometres outside Labasa, is a blessing.

“To get our yaqona and other cash crops into Labasa, we previ­ously just laid some big logs across the stream so that our trucks and even the school bus can cross,” Mr Bili said.

He says the area is now home to many yaqona farmers who have relocated from Viti Levu because of its suitable weather.

Unfortunately the logs which gradually started to rot have be­come more of a barrier for pass­ing debris, clogging up the cross­ing and also resulting in wash outs that make it impossible to pass during heavy rain.

With the help of an excavator, FHH subcontractors removed the debris and the heavy logs replacing them instead with proper 10.50-mil­limetre diameter culverts.

“These rural roads were previ­ously outside our normal work programme. But because more people are now using them, we have already carried out works such as removing high shoulders and replacing them with new cul­verts,” says Supervisor Labasa Pauliasi Qalo.

Several truckloads of aggregates were also placed over the culverts to allow for smoother vehicle ac­cess over it.

“Before farmers here could only take their harvest maybe once every two weeks into the market in Labasa or all the way to Suva if they wanted maximum returns. Now with the improved crossings and regular upgrading works, they can access the markets more regu­larly and also make more money,” says another resident farmer Jo­sese Yavala from Nasasa.

“It is always pleasing to see the smiles on residents and farmers’ faces here who depend heavily on such rural roads and crossings,” said Mr Qalo.

Rural Service Licence or RSL op­erators mostly service the area.

Source: Fulton Hogan Hiways


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