Fallen Branch Death Worry

“We can go on and cut all the trees but we have to be pragmatic. We really can’t predict whether a tree is nearly falling off but that is an area we are focusing on doing better in."
29 Aug 2022 15:00
Fallen Branch Death Worry
Deceased…71-year-old Dewan Chand and 60-year-old Sarita Devi.

The Fiji Roads Authority has explained its stance on the issue of the fallen raintree branch in Kasavu, near Nausori, that claimed the lives of a Rakiraki couple over the weekend.

This was after concerns were raised by the family of the deceased couple on the safety and wellbeing of the travelling public.

The incident, claimed the life of 71-year-old, Dewan Chand and 60-year-old, Sarita Devi.

In the car was their 28-year-old daughter, Shayal Seth, who was driving and the deceased Mr Chand’s brother, Saras Chand.

Their daughter was taking her parents for a medical check-up in Suva. Ms Seth was checked and discharged while Saras Chand, who’s in 60s, was still admitted in hospital.

FRA chief executive officer Kamal Prasad said its work focussed on pruning trees that pose a risk to road users. Mr Prasad said it was unfortunate that lives were claimed where tree branches fell off.

The issue was raised because this was not the first fatal accident that happened regarding fallen tree branches trees in urban centres.


On December 16 last year, a 65-year-old market vendor lost her life when a tree branch fell on her while selling mangoes near the Suva market kiosks.

Five people were also rushed to hospital in October last year when a tree branch fell on their car along Holland Street in Suva.

Earlier this year, a taxi driver escaped serious injuries when the branch of a raintree fell on his taxi in Namadi Heights, Suva.

“We can’t cut all the trees down, there are issues that could arise like erosion etc.,” Mr Prasad said.

“We can go on and cut all the trees but we have to be pragmatic. We really can’t predict whether a tree is nearly falling off but that is an area we are focusing on doing better in.”

“So what actually happens is that the trees that we prune are the ones we identify that are approximately six meters high, two meters from the road.”

“That’s the trees that we prune so that vehicles easily travel. This is what we have been doing to those in Colo-i-Suva or if you go through Navutu roundabout in Lautoka and the ones near Nadi airport, Denarau, Kings Road, Queens Road.”

“So when we identify that it is blocking or having any hindrance to traffic access we prune them. All we do is pruning.”


Ministry of Forestry

Following questions sent to the Ministry of Forestry, a statement released said: “The Ministry supports the relevant agencies in providing scientific and technical information involving forestry and trees.”

“It also supports in terms of providing chainsaw training and pruning of branches or clearing trees upon request.”

“In addition to coordinating Fiji’s forests and landscapes restoration programme through the planting of 30 million trees in 15 years, the Ministry will strengthen its collaboration with the relevant agencies, particularly to promote the importance of forests and trees to human welfare and safety, the environment and biodiversity.”



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