NEWS

Desilting Works Safeguards Nawaka Community, Nadi Town From Flooding

Mataqali Nagaga Trust member Panapasa Nawai expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Waterways as the villages’ livelihoods had been constantly and adversely affected by flood waters.
15 Oct 2021 12:17
Desilting Works Safeguards Nawaka Community, Nadi Town From Flooding
Minister for Agriculture, Waterways, and Environment, Mahendra Reddy (Fifth from left), with members of the public at the Nawaka River. Photo: DEPTFO News

Desilting works at two retention dams along the Nawaka River are expected to mitigate flooding for the Nawaka Community, Nadi Town and residents living along the river.

A total of 1000 metre of river desilting works will be undertaken by the Ministry of Waterways at the two dams under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with Selva Earth Works and Nagaga Trust.

Commissioning the desilting works at Vatutu village in Nawaka on Wednesday, Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, Mahendra Reddy, said that these desilting works would ease the water flow of the river and its adjacent creeks during heavy rain.

Mr Reddy acknowledged the private sector partners who were conducting the desilting works under the PPP agreement as it would enhance the economic activity in the vicinity through the provision of proper drainage services.

Mataqali Nagaga Trust member Panapasa Nawai expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Waterways as the villages’ livelihoods had been constantly and adversely affected by flood waters.

 

Livelihoods affected by flood

“I want to thank Government for working with us to ensure the desilting works for the Nawaka dams begin, because we are talking about our livelihoods here, we are affected and we can at least be at rest knowing that works have begun to address this long-standing issue,” said Mr Nawai.

Vatutu village, Talaiasi Labalaba, 45, said during the annual rain season, the village farm is constantly flooded and is washed away.

“The works here were done about eight to nine years ago. From the past few years when the rainy season comes, the village farm gets washed away because of flooding, affecting close to 20 full-time farmers whose farms are close to the river,” he said.

“Not only this, but some houses get flooded in the Nawaka and Vatutu villages,” he added.

 

Desilting works

The desilting works will be carried out at the Nawaka Dam 1 & Dam 2 with 500m of the upper stream of both dams. The desilting works will include clearing of all the culverts on the dams, removing of debris and silted materials from the dams.

Mr Reddy said that the Ministry of Waterways would continue to be vigilant in clearing waterways throughout the country so that water could be discharged well to negate potential flooding and damages to infrastructure and protect communities.

He said that failure to clear the waterways from silt and debris could result in major infrastructural damages or in some instances the complete washing away of houses, lead to loss in business, and could be a threat to thousands of Fijians, particularly in the Nadi district during adverse flooding.

“The government is committed to building resilience amongst the communities, and we will do this carefully addressing issues pertaining to waterways, through increasing the conveyance capacity and releasing the free flow of water,” he said.

 



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