NATION

Gone In 30 Years: Acres Of Land Underwater

Turaga-ni-Yavusa Ravuama Lalanabaravi, 79, Irami Tubuna, 65, and Turaga-ni-Koro Isimeli Waibuta, grew up playing rugby on a piece of land which they called their Hong Kong. The men from Vutia
06 Apr 2017 09:27
Gone In 30 Years: Acres Of Land  Underwater
Ravuama Lalanabaravi of Vutia Village, Rewa on April 5, 2017. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

Turaga-ni-Yavusa Ravuama Lalanabaravi, 79, Irami Tubuna, 65, and Turaga-ni-Koro Isimeli Waibuta, grew up playing rugby on a piece of land which they called their Hong Kong.

The men from Vutia Village in Rewa now only have memories of the place that once was which is now where the Rewa River has widened its reach.

Mr Lalanabaravi said: “It was our Hong Kong in the village, but that was long ago. All that is now long gone. Today, when there is high tide, people here in Vutia have to wade through water in front of their houses. This is the reality we are living with.”

Mr Tubuna said: “We have seen how things have changed. We have seen people needing to move their houses. Here one couple had started to build their house. But, because at high tide water goes inside some of the houses, they left the unfinished structure and moved further inside. There they are building again.”

Mr Waibuta shared how his brother-in-law also had to move home.

Mr Lalanabaravi questioned: “We had more than 200 acres of land for Vutia here but now we are left with only about 80 acres. In 30 years, this has happened? What will happen in another 30 years?”

While land has been disappearing, island-type sand banks have been coming up.

And, it is these sand banks that the villagers are putting their hopes on.

“We are pleading with Government to give us the authority to build houses on those new areas which have come up. This will greatly assist us,” Mr Lalanabaravi said.

The ‘new areas’ the villagers are referring to is a result of sand and soil being washed from upriver. They are hoping to build homes there and find a place to continue planting.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Tanoa Waterfront Lautoka Fiji
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: