NATION

First Hybrid Seawall Will Protect Village

The cost of the new hybrid seawall is half of a concrete seawall, but is more effective.
16 Jul 2020 09:54
First Hybrid Seawall Will Protect Village
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama commissions the Viro Village Hybrid (Bio-Engineering) Coastal Protection Programme at the village in Ovalau on July 15, 2020. He is accompanied by Minister for Waterways and Environment Mahendra Reddy (right). Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Completed in a span of four months, the Viro Village Hybrid Seawall is the first of its type implemented by the Ministry of Waterways and Environment outside of Viti Levu.

Yesterday Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama commissioned the new hybrid seawall, which he labelled an ingenious combination of human-made and nature-based solutions. This is part of the ministry’s bio-engineering coastal protection programme.

The cost of the new hybrid seawall is half of a concrete seawall, but is more effective.

Viro villagers welcomed the new model seawall that would be used in the future in maritime islands.

Youths of Viro Village at the new village’s seawall. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Youths of Viro Village at the new village’s seawall. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Village headman Filipe Ledua said they were grateful for Government’s intervention given that this was the third seawall for the village.

The previous two were from outside assistance, which slowly disappeared after constant erosion.

Viro Village make up the 300 plus descendants from the island of Vatoa and Ono-i-Lau in the Lau Group.

Viro Village Headman, Filipe Ledua. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Viro Village Headman, Filipe Ledua.
Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Here are some of the features of the new seawall:

The wall is made of boulders acquired nearby

The mangroves planted in front of the wall and vetiver planted behind the wall provide extra protection for their ability to absorb and contain tidal flows.

Permanent Secretary for Environment and Waterways Joshua Wycliffe told villagers that science has proven over time that nature based disasters can also be solved with nature based solutions.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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