NEWS

Five Villages To Benefit From Nadi River Dredging

“My brother was unemployed and his vegetable farm helped him earn a living. He was already struggling and losing his homes added onto his burdens,” he said.
11 Aug 2022 16:58
Five Villages To Benefit From Nadi River Dredging
The Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy (third from left), Na Momo Levu Na Tui Nadi, Ratu Vuniani Navuniuci (fourth from left), Hong Yuan Development Pte Limited director, Yuan Gao (sixth from left) with the other dignitaries and Nadi villagers near the Nadi River on August 9, 2022. Photo: Nicolette Chambers.

In the next two weeks, nine kilometres of the Nadi River will undergo dredging. The dredging, which is under the public-private partnership between the Ministry of Waterways and Hong Yuan Development Pte Limited, is expected to directly protect more than 850 households in the five villages in Nadi.

The five villages are Narewa, Sikituru, Maqalevu, Yavusania and Moala.

For Yavusania villager Isaia Nailevu, hearing about the dredging initiative brought him joy as he recalled the day his brother, Nemani Momo, lost his two homes and vegetation plantation to a flood in January.

Mr Nailevu said his brother, who now lives with his in-laws at Sikituru Village, lost more than $40,000 in damages.

“My brother was unemployed and his vegetable farm helped him earn a living. He was already struggling and losing his homes added onto his burdens,” he said.

“A family who was building their home had to relocate because they didn’t want to lose their home.”

Sikituru Village headman, Samuela Malua. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

Sikituru Village headman, Samuela Malua. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

He said more than 500 households were affected by floods every year. Speaking to the villagers at the Sikituru Village Hall in Nadi yesterday, the Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment, Mahendra Reddy, said nine kilometres of the river beginning from the river mouth up to Narewa Village, would be dredged where 1.2million cubic metres of silt would be removed.

Mr Reddy said the dredging would reduce the discharge capacity. The last time the river was dredged was in 2010.

“Since the 1900s till now, the sea level has risen globally on average by 15 to 24 centimetres and one third of that rise in sea level happened over the last 25 years because of increased industrial activities in developed countries resulting in emissions causing global warming,” he said.

“We assure other communities that we will continue to use Government resources, to protect the vulnerable communities.”

Meanwhile, he added that around 116 seawalls were yet to be constructed to safeguard about 160 villages nationwide.

Na Momo Levu Na Tui Nadi, Ratu Vuniani Navuniuci said some families in Sikituru and Yavusania had to relocate because of flooding. Sikituru Village headman, Samuela Malua said all the villagers were pleased with Government assistance.

 

Feedback: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj



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