Vatamai Road Slip Cuts Off Access For Residents

“We are really concerned about the children who stay here; we might not be able to send them to school.”
11 Feb 2022 11:07
Vatamai Road Slip Cuts Off Access For Residents
Arvind Naicker points at the area where the roadslide occured at Vatamai Road Number 8 at Lovu, Lautoka occured near his home. Photo: Salote Qalubau

How can we send our children to school?

That’s the question families living on the other end of the Vatamai Road Number 8 in Lovu, Lautoka, are asking following a road slip last Saturday night.

Mohammed Shaheel, whose house is located near the damaged road, said the slip cut off access to 12 families, which includes 20 students, nine elderly people and 12 sole breadwinners.

“The road was okay till I visited at 5pm on Saturday. Later on, that night, going onto early Sunday morning, then we noticed the road was slipping so we tried to do something to stop it from slipping so that we have access to the road, but the rain continued and we were there the whole of Sunday trying to do something,” he said.

“It kept on slipping until it reached Arvind Naicker’s compound. And even now, it’s still slipping, mainly when it rains. Some of the people living there, all their water boreholes got cut off and we had to keep connecting and disconnecting the line so that we had water; some are also without electricity.”

He said a temporary crossing was erected through the compound of Mr Naicker, which was right beside the road slip. Mr Naicker has been a resident in the area for the past 59 years.

“From our home to the main road it would take us 30 minutes and we did complain to FRA (Fiji Roads Authority). We might have to walk right to the main road to catch a vehicle,” Mr Shaheel said.

“We are really concerned about the children who stay here; we might not be able to send them to school.”

The Ministry of Waterways confirmed receiving a report concerning the damaged road. The ministry’s staff members in Lautoka visited the site on Monday after the contractor working on the path alerted them about the slip.

The FRA stated that the Vatamai Number 8 Road was not a FRA asset. Mr Naicker claims the road belongs to the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) because it is a sugar cane access road.

Attempts to get a comment from the FSC chief executive officer Bhan Singh were unsuccessful by the time this edition went to press.



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