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Satakala: Drought fuels socio-economic problems

Drought is a natural hazard that puts the country at risk of socio economic problems, says Acting Western Division Com­missioner, Joji Satakala. He highlighted this issue yester­day while launching the
31 Aug 2018 11:00
Satakala: Drought fuels socio-economic problems
From left, Ba Senior Divisional Medical Officer, Dr Vineet Chand, Acting Commissioner Western, Joji Satakala and Seventh-Day Adventist Pastor, Luke Narabe cuts the cake to mark the official launch of the Vakarau Wai Fiji Pro Resilience Project at Tanoa International Hotel in Votualevu, Nadi on August 30, 2018. Photo: Arieta Vakasukawaqa

Drought is a natural hazard that puts the country at risk of socio economic problems, says Acting Western Division Com­missioner, Joji Satakala.

He highlighted this issue yester­day while launching the $5.5 million Vakarau Wai Fiji Pro Resilience Project at the Tanoa International Hotel in Votualevu, Nadi.

“Droughts cause huge socio-eco­nomic problems and environmental impacts in terms of food and liveli­hood insecurity, increases poverty and vulnerability in the communi­ties,” Mr Satakala said.

The project was facilitated by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Fiji in collabora­tion with ADRA Germany and was funded by the European Union.

The objectives are to improve the resilience and adaptive capacities of vulnerable communities and subsistence farmers to reduce food and nutrition insecurity in the North and Western Provinces.

Mr Satakala said the last dry spell that the country experienced was in late 2015 through to 2016.

 

“It causes significant challenges affecting 57,000 people where Gov­ernment stepped in to provide emergency water support and this is a very expensive exercise to cart water to all communities on the main land and maritime islands,” he said.

“During droughts or dry spells women and children were the most affected because they are mostly responsible for collecting water for the household.

“They may travel further to fetch water from isolated water sources which in most cases affect their safety and security, women in par­ticular are responsible for family hygiene and water supply.”

He said drought in the country took its toll in the Ba Province, in worst cases places were labelled dry zones.

“Sometimes this issue worsened as a result of bad farming practic­es,” he said.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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