FIJI NEWS

Relocation plan for Lau villages

By LOSALINI RASOQOSOQO At least four villages in the Lau Group will have to be relocated due to the rise in sea level. During the recent visit of the Commissioner
03 Feb 2014 10:05

A Waciwaci elder stands at a teachers’ quarter that is usually flooded during high tide.

By LOSALINI RASOQOSOQO

At least four villages in the Lau Group will have to be relocated due to the rise in sea level.
During the recent visit of the Commissioner Eastern Lieutenant-Colonel Netani Rika, villagers were advised that the only solution was to move to higher ground.
Lomati village in Cicia, Waciwaci in Lakeba, Vunuku in Moala and Avea Island in Vanuabalavu are already experiencing coastal flooding, attributed to climate change.
In Lomati, half of the village, including its primary school is underwater whenever it rains and when the tide is high.
Waciwaci and Vunuku’s shoreline are also eroding fast because of the encroaching tide. The Waciwaci Primary School and its teachers quarters are also flooded during high tides.
As for Avea, the effect of climate change and soil erosion is pushing the people inland. However, with no space for relocation on the island, they are left with the only choice of moving out.
Vunuku, however, is feeling not only the effect of rise in sea level but also the effect of running water from inland.
The Department of Mineral Resources carried out a brief survey saying that there might be an underground river running across the village which is causing the ground to sink.
Villagers admitted that after reclaiming the land and blocking off a small creek that runs through the side of the village, this problem emerged.
The department’s Apete Soro said another team would be visiting soon to conduct the survey. In the meantime, Lieutenant-Colonel Rika has advised those living along the shoreline to move to higher ground.
He also told village elders to consider relocating the village to a higher ground in their long term plan.




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