NEWS

It’s Like Our Very Own Nasese Seawall, says Vunibau Villager

“Some of the houses were dam­aged due to flooding in the village, so the village headman decided to call a meeting to decide the future of us. Hence, they approached the Ministry in 2014.
31 Jan 2019 10:00
It’s Like Our Very Own Nasese Seawall, says Vunibau Villager
Tewa Vitukawalu (left), with Norma Cecelia at the Vunibau River Mouth in Vunibau, Navua on January 29, 2019. Photo: Sheenam Chandra

Ever since she can remember, Tewa Vitukawalu, has wit­nessed the frequent flooding at her village, Vunibau, which was largely attributed to the proximity of the Vunibau River.

But that has now been controlled and is, perhaps, a thing of the past after the completion of the Vuni­bau River mouth riverbank protec­tion works in Navua.

“I have been living in Vunibau village for 35 years with my three children. My family and I are wit­nesses of climate change and it has affected our livelihood.”

The 35-year-old works in a restau­rant in Suva, said she was the only income earner in her family.

“Most of the men and women use the sea to sustain their livelihood, that is why we are living close to the sea,” said Ms Vitukawalu.

“Some of the houses were dam­aged due to flooding in the village, so the village headman decided to call a meeting to decide the future of us. Hence, they approached the Ministry in 2014.

“We are grateful to the Govern­ment for helping us out and provid­ing us with riverbank protection.

“It is like our very own Nasese seawall where we can come out and relax with our friends and family.”

Close to 120 people live in the vil­lage.

Background and investment

The Minister for Agriculture, Ru­ral and Maritime Development, Wa­terways and Environment Mahen­dra Reddy officiated the completion on Tuesday.

“The Vunibau Village has had is­sues with riverbank erosion since the 1980s,” Mr Reddy said.

“In 2006, stone boulders and land reclamation were conducted at the village, however, due to continu­ous wave action at the Navua River confluence and flooding of Navua River, soil erosion has worsened along the riverbank near the Vuni­bau village.”

The Minister said the scoping was carried out in June 28, 2018 and the work was completed in December 15, 2018.

“408-metre riverbank protection works was undertaken by YadraV­iti Investment Limited at a cost of $561,292.23 for a construction peri­od of 150 calendar days,” Mr Reddy said.

“The infrastructure not only pro­tects our waterways but also con­tributes to the social and economic development of the village.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

 



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