SUNBIZ

Winston Causes $2m Pine Damage, Two Years Set-Back

  Fiji Pine has sustained around $2 million worth of damage to around 700 hectares of pine as a result of Tropical Cyclone Winston. Executive chairman of the Fiji Pine
01 Mar 2016 11:26
Winston Causes $2m Pine Damage, Two Years Set-Back

 

Fiji Pine has sustained around $2 million worth of damage to around 700 hectares of pine as a result of Tropical Cyclone Winston.

Executive chairman of the Fiji Pine Group of Companies, Faiz Khan, said this has affected the reforestation efforts on Viti Levu suffering a major setback of two years.

The areas affected include Lololo and Ba plantations which were the most severely affected followed by Ra while the plantations on Vanua Levu sustained major damage.

Mr Khan said around 300 hectares of four to five year old plantations in Lololo/Ba and another 100 hectares in Nadarivatu, Ra, slanted towards the ground (rather than facing upright) due to heavy winds.

“An estimated further 300 hectares of around one year olds were damaged.These are significant losses to our plantations on Viti Levu. We have been working hard on sustainability issues on Viti Levu over the last four years,” he said.

“Tropical Cyclone Evan damaged our plantations severely and now Winston. The losses to the plantations are not insured.”

 

Moving on

However, Mr Khan emphasised that Fiji Pine cannot dwell on its misfortunes due to cyclones outside its control and needs to move on.

“We cannot change what has happened. We simply have to move on in a pragmatic and logical manner. There are on average 800 trees to a hectare,” he said.

“So we have about 320,000 pine trees of four to five years old that have to be individually propped up. This will take significant time, effort and money.”

Fiji Pine is not sitting idle or waiting for a miracle to rehabilitate the severely damaged plantations.

Mr Khan said: “The positive is that the past week, immediately after the cyclone, a detailed assessment of damage was carried out.

“Then our Fiji Pine crew purchased tools and materials required to prop up the trees.

“Then we carried out induction exercises with our Lololo Forest Based Company and its crew on the scope of works and technicalities involved in propping up each tree.

“All of this happened last week. As of this morning, propping up has started and we have embarked upon this major task in our forests that will take some time.”

When asked what was the greatest challenge going forward, Mr Khan said: “Prolonged dry spell immediately after the cyclone that could cause further damage to the plantations.”

Feedback:  waisean@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Advertise with fijisun
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: