NATION

Nasegai Villagers Seek Solutions Against Landslides

Villagers of Nasegai, Tavuki in Kadavu are seeking solu­tions to the frequent land­slides that threaten the village. Village elder Josateki Vakac­ereivalu said that for the last 20 years, there had
26 Sep 2018 11:01
Nasegai Villagers Seek Solutions Against Landslides
Nasegai Yabula Management Committee Pauliasi Navono, village headman Seremaia Serurua and Sailasa Sivo showing the landslide in their village Nasegai in Kadavu. Photo: Sheenam Chandra.

Villagers of Nasegai, Tavuki in Kadavu are seeking solu­tions to the frequent land­slides that threaten the village.

Village elder Josateki Vakac­ereivalu said that for the last 20 years, there had been intensive landslides occurring in their vil­lage, which is located on a steep hill.

Mr Vakacereivalu said due to the heavy wave action and frequency of cyclones, the rate of landslides in the village had increased.

He said village elders raised the is­sue at the Kadavu Provincial Coun­cil earlier this year but they were yet to hear an outcome from the provincial office.

“There are close to 300 people liv­ing in the village and our main source of income is farming, fish­ing and mat-weaving and this is a sad scenario because we are just living a mere seven metres away from plunging to our death,” Mr Vakacereivalu said.

Village headman Seremaia Seru­arua said the village had also done some mitigation practices as well such as planting vetiver grass on the slope to minimise the rate of soil erosion.

In 2017, Albert Whippy the sci­entific officer of the Institute of Applied Science at the University of the South Pacific (USP) who is also the RESCCUE Kadavu Project Coordinator led the villagers in a mangrove planting project.

“We planted around 1000 man­grove seedlings along the shore­lines to help in the mitigation of landslides,” Mr Whippy said.

USP, Manager of Environment Dr Isoa Korovulavula said: “That part of the coastal area is entirely ex­posed now, so I think proper assess­ment needs to be done and proper mitigation measures needs to be taken for the waves and wind action in that particular area.

“The church area is encroaching on the site of the landslide and I think the communities should probably start discussing the need to possibly retreat to higher ground.”

Acting Director of the Mineral Resource Department (MRD) Apete Soro clarified the MRD team vis­ited the village in August 2017 and carried out a detailed geotechnical assessment for the village and the proposed relocation site as request­ed by the village during one of the Prime Minister’s visits to Kadavu.

Mr Soro said a report was pro­duced and it basically discussed the findings of the geotechnical work with recommendations for improvement and mitigation meas­ures to address the geo-hazards and ground stability for the proposed relocation site.

He said a copy of the report was handed to the Commissioner East­ern’s Office, is in charge of the relocation work for villages in the Eastern Division.

“The implementation of the rec­ommendations is at the discretion of the CEO that makes the deci­sions after considering all relevant factors, and the geotechnical sur­vey is one of those factors to be considered,” he added.

Commissioner Eastern Luke Mo­roivalu said a team was currently in Kadavu and were visiting the site.

He said he would comment further after his team had briefed him.

Edited by Losirene Lacanivalu

Feedback: sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Advertise with fijisun
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: