NEWS

Naviyago Villagers Take Proactive Approach To Stop Soil Erosion

Villagers living along the Vitogo River in Lautoka have planted more than 150 vetiver grass shoots as a way to stop soil erosion.
01 Jul 2022 16:43
Naviyago Villagers Take Proactive Approach To Stop Soil Erosion
Naviyago villagers plant vertiver grass along the Vitogo river in Lautoka on June 30,2022. Photo: Salote Qalubau

Villagers living along the Vitogo River in Lautoka have planted more than 150 vetiver grass shoots as a way to stop soil erosion.

The Vitogo River runs beside Naviyago Village.

Villager, Mere Nailevu says community members planted vetiver grass because they were beginning to see the effects of soil erosion on their livelihood.

 

FRIEND (Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development) Fiji provided the vetiver grass shoots which were planted in Naviyago Village, Matawalu Village and Navoka Settlement in Lautoka.

“I want to thank FRIEND Fiji for its assistance and addressing issues like this, we are always assisted by them and today we are happy that they came to plant vetiver grass,” Ms Nailevu said.

She said there had been mango trees near the river, but now there were only a few left.

 

“It’s only a matter of time before the other mango trees slip into the river,” she said.

The remaining soil was eroding fast and the water levels have risen, so the villagers asked for something to be done.

An ideal solution was for the Government to place gabion baskets along Naviyago Village beside the Vitogo River.

 

“It gets worse when there’s a flood. No dredging has been done here, they just come, do the survey and go back but there hasn’t been any dredging in the Vitogo River,” she said.

FRIEND Fiji communications and disability officer Margaret Seruvatu said the programme was under the GNDR (Global Network of Disaster Reduction) project and these communities felt the impacts of the coastal erosion which had encroached on their properties.

“This vetiver plant is resilient and salt-resistant so it’s resistant to salt water, the roots go as deep as six metres so it will hold the soil together and stop the sea from washing out the soil,” she said.

 

Feedback: salote.qalubau@fijisun.com.fj



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