NATION

Resident Looks Forward to Post Dredging Improvements

  Kulukulu resident Philip Michel is hopeful that the dredging of Sigatoka River will bring positive changes and improvements to his livelihood. Dredging along the Sigatoka River started in November.
04 Jan 2017 13:25
Resident Looks Forward to Post Dredging Improvements
China Railway started with the dredging works. Photo:Nicolete chambers

 

Kulukulu resident Philip Michel is hopeful that the dredging of Sigatoka River will bring positive changes and improvements to his livelihood.

Dredging along the Sigatoka River started in November.

And while taking a boat ride along the Kulukulu River, Mr Michel told the Fiji Sun what it was like before dredging.

The 57-year-old retired Police officer, who has lived in Kulukulu since childhood, said: “To us fishermen this will be good for us as you can see how shallow this place is. Years ago one of my uncles used to catch big fish in this river, but now not so much as it has become shallow.

“Also for the Sigatoka Village, they have a tour boat which brings tourists down so when they have low tide, they can’t bring the tourist down, because the water is so shallow in some parts of the river. They have bookings so business is affected,” Mr Michel said.

“But just at that little place they are dredging at, we can see the different colours and I wonder what they will do with the sand when they go up the river since all the mangroves are near the river and more fish are dying.”

A Kulukulu River resident, disappointed with the dredging, had taken her disappointment to Facebook by posting pictures of the dredging site.

The post read: “Just a few days ago this was an idyllic river-wetland environment….with a natural beachfront and abundance of fish. It’s now a sorry sight.

“Heaps of baby fish lay dead along the shore line…waiting for the high tide to wash them away…dredging is done 24/7…and only rests 2 hrs in a day: Sleepless nights from the disturbing noise. It’s so sad….nature built us a beautiful beach and it took them just one day to take it away from us.”

With regards to this, Mr Michel responded: “Everyone has the right to their own opinion as some may agree to this and some don’t. But this is bound to happen, but it will grow back again.”

He said this was only part of the process.

As confirmed by Sigatoka Town Council chief executive Tulsi Ram, China Railways had been contracted with the dredging works at the Sigatoka River and they had begun with the primary phase of the work.

China Railway First Group Administration assistant Selai Vakaloloma said, via an email, that a team would be looking at the claims made.

“Be informed that the relevant personnel have been made aware. The management and project staff will discuss on the above taking into account,” she said.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback:  litia.tikomailepanoni@fijisun.com.fj

 

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