Sunvoice

EDITORIAL-Let’s Do The Right Thing And Minimise Risks Of Damage

  Random reports coming back from Suva-Nausori and Suva-Navua corridors say that flooding risks have been increased substantially by poor and blocked drainage systems. In the current rainy weather, homes
17 Dec 2016 11:00
EDITORIAL-Let’s Do The  Right Thing And Minimise Risks Of Damage
Flooding in Walu Bay. Photo: Eva Nataro

 

Random reports coming back from Suva-Nausori and Suva-Navua corridors say that flooding risks have been increased substantially by poor and blocked drainage systems.

In the current rainy weather, homes that previously escaped floodwaters, now have been invaded by water destroying personal belongings and damaging housing structures.

Local authorities, principally the city and town councils should treat this drainage problem as a priority issue.

It causes artificial flooding but, combined with an adverse weather system that brings incessant rain that is facing us at the moment, flooding takes a serious turn.

Homes that previously escaped floodwaters are now flooded.

In Navua, we can empathise with  resident Anare Tuinicagi who said: “Our area usually gets flooded when there is high a tide. But, the water does not enter our houses.

This one is the worst one. We have been experiencing heavy rainfall for the past two days.”

Mr Tuinicagi said the main cause of flooding in their area was poor drainage because the flood gate was not working.

Farmers in Tokotoko, Navua, have complained that floodwaters had destroyed most of their root crops and vegetables.

Blocked or poorly constructed  drains cause artificial floods. Artificial in the sense that it’s man-made.

Drains are blocked because of rubbish deposited there by people and the lack of maintenance. Drains should be regularly cleaned and maintained to allow water to flow freely.

Floodwaters spill into neighbourhoods and into homes because the drains are blocked or poorly built.

It is the responsibility of both the residents and the local authorities to ensure that their drains are well maintained and have proper water access.

Poor drainage also exacerbates road surface flooding which can make driving extremely difficult and tricky.

Sometimes it is difficult for motorists to judge the depth of water covering a road. Some cars have been stuck on roads because water had seeped into the engine.

Stagnant pools of water, left for too long, could be a perfect breeding ground for water borne diseases.

Another concern that should be addressed is human activity on slopes that could trigger landslides. For those living at the foot of hills or slopes should be aware of the possibility of landslides.

Sajendra Lal, 46, of Verata, Tailevu, is counting his lucky stars after a landslide buried the back of his home. A bigger landslide would have buried him and relatives alive.

He said there was an excavation going on before the rain on the slope near his home. That could have triggered the avalanche of soil, rocks, debris and water.

According to geologists and engineers, human causes of landslides include: vibrations from heavy traffic, blasting; mining and quarrying activities; clearing of vegetation; interference with or changes to, natural drainage; modifications of slopes by construction of roads, buildings; excavation or displacement of rocks, vibrations from heavy trucks on road, leaking pipes such as water and sewer reticulation.

On blocked roads and landslides, human causes play a significant role.

That’s why it is crucial that  in every development project, it must  undergo an environmental impact assessment and safety compliance test.

Reckless development often leads to environmental disasters.

Let’s minimise the risks of damage by doing the right thing.

 

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj


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