NATION

Weather Impact On Roads Continuing Challenge: PM

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the damage caused to our infrastructure due to severe weather events has been a continuing challenge for Fiji. He said it had been for many
10 Jan 2017 09:51
Weather Impact On Roads Continuing Challenge: PM
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama cutting the ribbon to open the Bau tikina access road yesterday. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says the damage caused to our infrastructure due to severe weather events has been a continuing challenge for Fiji.

He said it had been for many other vulnerable, low-lying areas in the world.

“And due to the selfish behaviour of industrialised nations, experts tell us these weather events will only become more frequent and more severe,” he said.

He was speaking at the opening of the new Bau tikina bypass route yesterday.

The new road was built after the Kasavu land slip on the main Kings Rd which disrupted traffic.

The land slip was caused by heavy rain brought by Tropical Depression 04F last month.

Mr Bainimarama said: “As I’ve said many times before, we cannot allow climate change – and its disastrous effects – to threaten the hard-won progress my Government has achieved for the Fijian people.

“The development projects that have spread access to water, electricity and telecommunications at unprecedented levels. And the infrastructure that has connected the Fijian people like never before.

“So on the diplomatic front, my Government is fighting hard as a global champion against climate change. And we plan to use our upcoming presidency at COP-23 – the United Nations climate negotiations to reduce carbon emissions and arrest the global warming – to demand stronger action from the international community.

He said he was thankful to the Roko Tui Namata and his people for approving the construction of the new by-pass.

Fiji Roads Authority chief executive officer, John Hutchinson said the new by-pass was meant to be a temporary access road while FRA repaired the main Kings Rd at the Kasavu slip.

“The FRA and the Government recognises the importance of the Kings Rd to the ongoing economic viability of the country and the importance of having that road open,” said Mr Hutchinson.

He said after discussions with the Fiji Bus Operators Association, bus owners had agreed in the interest of public safety the buses would still use the Kings Road route after a trial run was done on the by-pass on Sunday.

Buses will continue to use the Kings Rd up to the Kasavu slip.

He said the by-pass route was not safe for heavy traffic and if they put heavy trucks on it the road could easily fail.

Edited by Maraia Vula

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