NATION

US Brings Relief To Bureta Village

United States Ambassador to Fiji, Judith Cefkin, visited the Village of Buretu in Rewa, Viti Levu, Fiji to inaugurate a riverbank stabilisation project on the Navolau River. Funded by the
27 May 2015 09:10
US Brings Relief To Bureta Village
United States Ambassador to Fiji, Judith Cefkin (second from left) during the opening of the riverbank stabilisation project on the Navolau River Bureta in Rewa, yesterday. Photo: US Embassy

United States Ambassador to Fiji, Judith Cefkin, visited the Village of Buretu in Rewa, Viti Levu, Fiji to inaugurate a riverbank stabilisation project on the Navolau River.

Funded by the US Agency for International Development through its Coastal Community Adaptation Project (C-CAP), the project will offer the community immediate relief against the adverse effects brought about by climate change.

The project has been developed in conjunction with the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs and members of the Buretu community.

“Climate change is a priority of the US Government and we are aware about the effects of climate change on the coastal communities of the Pacific Islands,” Ambassador Cefkin said.

“We remain committed to work with your community and the Government of Fiji in preparing for a more climate-resilient future.”

The Village of Buretu had experienced increasing riverbank degradation because of the impacts of sea level rise, storm surges and intense tropical cyclones and the Navolau River was encroaching upon the community and threatening their social and economic infrastructure.

After a community-led process that identified and ranked riverbank stabilisation as a priority in Buretu, USAID presented the community with plans for a revetment that incorporates an innovative technology – the “Reno Mattress” shoreline protection system, which is designed to follow the contours of the natural banks and attenuate rather than deflect the forces of erosion. In the short and over the longer-term, this reduces the potential for further erosion beyond the revetment and adjacent low-lying areas.

Foreign Affairs director climate change division, Peter Emberson, said: “Climate change is a challenge to us all with serious environmental, social and economic consequences. We take on commitments and we deliver against them.

“We cannot stop the forces of nature; but we can mitigate its impact and build resilient communities so that lives – and livelihoods – are protected when disaster does strike,” USAID/Pacific Islands Mission Director Gloria D. Steele said.

Village leader, Ratu Noni Veikoso acknowledged the timely support provided by the US Agency for the assistance provided for their village to adapt to the effects of climate change.

“We had tried many things to fix the problem of riverbank erosion but none had worked. We were on the verge of having to relocate the entire village when USAID came to our community.

“It was like one of those movies when the US Calvary comes to save the day–this project has saved our village and we are truly grateful for your help,” Ratu Noni said.

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