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Opinion

Between The Lines

Between The Lines
September 02
09:42 2018

Gathering dust at the Rewa Provincial Office in Nabalili, Rewa, are what appears to be remanants of papers that may shed some light on attempts to preserve the Rewa delta natural environment.

No so long ago, a lawyer who used to provide legal advice for the Rewa Provincial Council, had advised the committee on natural resources, that before any major dredging work was done they needed to seek expert advice.

A delegation was quickly organised. Members included two Rokos, the lawyer and committee members and they went to see SOPAC (South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission) in Nabua, Suva. SOPAC and the Pacific Community have a mission: “To help the Pacific Island people position themselves to respond effectively to the challenges they face and make informed decisions about their future and the future they wish to leave for the generations that follow. SOPAC) is to apply geoscience and technology to realise new opportunities for improving the livelihoods of Pacific communities.”

At SOPAC, the Rewan delegates were shown the state of the Rewa River, its tributaries and the delta more than 30 years ago.

They were also shown the changes that had happened up to that meeting.

They were specifically warned that they should ensure any dredging should not disrupt the water flow because it could damage land and marine resources.

The lawyer also recommended the setting up of a trust where any money accrued from the operation should be deposited.

He left after that presumably because his advice was not heeded. One unconfirmed report said his service was no longer required.

Whatever happened it raised eyebrows because he is a Rewan. As a replacement, a non-Rewan with political leanings similar to those held by some members of the council, was brought in and quickly stamped his mark.

But questions are still being asked why the SOPAC advice was not followed in full because of the resultant damage.

Tomorrow: The damage at Rewa River estuary continues to haunt the landowners.

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