NEWS

Families Relocate As Sea Level Rise Forces Its Way Into Village

More than 20 houses by the shoreline were hugely impacted by the intrusion of sea water into the village.
27 Apr 2022 14:32
Families Relocate As Sea Level Rise Forces Its Way Into Village
Veivatuloa Village headman Leone Nairuwai stands on what is left of their village seawall on April 21, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

More than 20 families of Veivatuloa Village in Namosi Province have relocated further inland.

This was to escape the sea level rise that had forced its way into the village.

Village headman Leone Nairuwai said an old seawall built by villagers could no longer protect the village from the rise in sea water levels which broke through the structure.

 

Mr Nairuwai said the seawall had been partially damaged and families living near the shoreline were experiencing the full brunt of the rising tides.

“This is something new that we are seeing; the effects of climate change that we are beginning to experience is something we cannot stop,” Mr Nairuwai said.

“There was a seawall that was built some years back, water never surpassed the height of the seawall when it was built, but now it goes over that seawall and water comes right into the village.”

 

He said at high tide, water would come into the village at 50 to 75 metres high.

More than 20 houses by the shoreline were hugely impacted by the intrusion of sea water into the village.

“The land gets washed away and it has gone down,” he said.

“We planted mangroves to try and help out, but sometimes even that doesn’t help.”

 

Their plea was also highlighted during the Namosi Provincial Council meeting held at the village last Thursday.

“Now more than 20 families have moved further inland to build their houses. It is where they are now located,” he said.

“We have pleaded with the Government and they have confirmed that it’s the third project for this year according to plans for the province. I thank the Government for that.”

 

Villager Anare Sovuna, who lived in a house by the shoreline, said the seawall that existed before acted as a shield, but with the impact of rising sea levels it could no longer protect them from the waves entering the village.

He said Government help was needed for the safety and well-being of family members.

 

Feedbackinoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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