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Editorial: Drowning highlights need for a bridge in Rewa delta

Editorial: Drowning highlights need for a bridge in Rewa delta
The Nasali Landing on the banks of a Rewa River tributary.
May 10
11:14 2018

The latest drowning victim in Rewa has highlighted the need for a bridge from near Nasali Landing across to the Rewa Delta.

Last week Monday, 32-year-old Aminio Sogotubu from Nadoi tried to swim across a tributary of the Rewa River from the Nasali side. Unfortunately, he drowned. It is not a long swim across even during high tide. At low tide it is even easier to cross because the water is shallow.

This is not the first drowning of its kind in the area. He arrived at Nasali Landing late at night, could not find a boat, so he decided to swim. He might have done it before and thought the crossing would be easy. Other travellers stranded at the landing have waited till the morning to catch a boat.

It is public knowledge that the Government had budgeted for a bridge in the Rewa-Vutia Rd project in the 2017-2018 National Budget. Rewans are hoping that the project would start soon to avoid any more loss of lives in the river.

The project would open up the rest of the Rewa delta for economic activities. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama assured people when he visited Vutia District School last year that the road project would take place.

In 2006, SDL prime minister Laisenia Qarase had personally promised the electorate the road project at his government’s Cabinet meeting held in Lomanikoro, Rewa.

The Rewans have waited for a long time and are hoping that work on the project would start soon.

Mata ni tikina Rewa (Rewa district rep) Alipate Senikuta has also called on Government to fast-track the project.

The deceased, a young man in his 30s who still had a lot to give, had a family with two children. He was the sole bread-winner. If there was a bridge, he would still be alive today.

The boat operators also need to be asked why there was no boat at the landing that night. It is understood they had arranged at least two night shift boats to service overnight passengers. This is the reason why the people want the bridge because it will save them from all these hassles.

The people are appealing to the Government to treat this issue as a matter of urgency.

It is pretty risky at night to travel in the river in an emergency, especially for the sick and pregnant women.

It will be a major relief for the people to see the work starting soon.

Feedback:  losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj

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