Weather Fiji, Suva   Max 30°C, Min 23°C

Fiji Sun

NEWS

Narikoso Awaits Relocation Timeline

Narikoso Awaits Relocation Timeline
These houses are in the red zone, which will be relocated. Photo: Sheenam Chandra
August 21
10:35 2018

Villagers of Narikoso on Ono island in Kadavu are not sure when they will be relocated.

They have raised questions  with the relevant authorities about the timeline of the project.

The new village location is 100 metres inland.

Kelepi Saukitoga’s house is one of the seven in Narikoso Village that will be relocated because it is located in the “red zone”.

IMG_2841

The village development committee chairman, said in 2012, villagers began feeling the full brunt of the rising sea levels.

During the king tides, the sea level would reach his house.

“I told villagers that building seawalls was a waste of money and we have to relocate,” Mr Saukitoga said

“When Prime Minster Voreqe Bainimara came for an official visit in 2012, I shared the village grievances.

“Few months later they had Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) engineers come to Narikoso to do excavation works to flatten the new site.

“We are very fortunate that we have received Government assistance a few years back.”

According to Mr Saukitoga, the Government had spent $194,000, but the total work was about $200,000 for the excavation works.

Mr Saukitoga will represent the country as a Climate Change Trailblazer at the Global  Action Summit, which will be held in San Francisco, USA, next month.

“I have discussed the impact of sea level rise with the village development committee members. I encouraged them to put on hold plans for development projects like building new flush toilets, footpaths and renovating community halls,” he said.

“Our best option is for this village to relocate first to protect these projects.

“Also, the village is getting smaller to sustain the growing population. We are unanimous about moving.

“Villlage elders first noticed the sea level rise in the late 1960s however, it has grown substantially over the past few years.

“It is not easy job to relocate, but we are thinking about the future generation in 20 to 40 years times,” Mr Saukitoga said.

The assessments carried out during those years were: Geotechnical Assessments, Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), Fisheries Impact Assessment (FIA), Forestry and Agricultural Assessment, and various other food security assessments.

“All these Government stakeholders were part of the process and this relocation was done and done in the correct way,” he said.

There were 21 Government officials from respective ministries who came in every month to conduct assessments. The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), GIZ-EU and USAID officials were also in Narikoso to monitor the food security programme.

“GIZ-EU and Government have kept monitoring the assessment for the food security programmes such as poultry , bee-keeping and vegetable farms,” Mr Saukitoga said.

“The villagers and I all support this Government’s relocation project.

“After work every day they did a presentation in the afternoon to inform villagers, especially food security projects.”

The relocation of Narikoso Village is being made made possible through funding in partnership with the Fijian Government, the European Union and GIZ.

Edited by Percy Kean

Share

Related Articles