Villagers Grateful For Retaining Wall
The people of Vusasivo Village in the District of Natewa on Vanua Levu will remember the Fiji Constitution Day for a while. This was after the Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Mereseini Vuniwaqa originally from the District of Natewa yesterday commissioned the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) coastal protection revetment project. Vusasivo Village headman Misaele Celua said the project would benefit 72 houses accommodating a total of 319 individuals. “After Cyclone Tomas (March, 2010) we have been planting mangroves because we lost several metres of soil,” Mr Celua said.
“Moreover due to sea level rise, waves were reaching dangerously close to home and communal infrastructure. “We are thankful to the United States government who through the Coastal Community Adaptation Project (C-CAP) designed and constructed a rock mattress revetment of 200 metres to protect the coastline from erosion. “Now we do not have to relocate or worry about how to react to natural disasters.”
United States Agency for International Development contractor and chief of party Nick Hobgood said the structure encouraged the establishment of coastal vegetation which would further stabilise the coastline and help to increase the community’s resilience to the impact of climate change.
“This is the first disaster management and reduction plan for the village,” Mr Hobgood said.
“Not only this while the project was progressing the villagers were taught how to respond to natural disasters.” Mr Hobgood said the total cost of the project was approximately $50,000. Edited by Rusiate Mataika
Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Mereseini Vuniwaqa (middle) with United States Agency for International Development contractor and chief of party Nick Hobgood (middle) with the villagers at Vusasivo, Natewa District in Vanua Levu during the commissioning of coastal protection revetment project on Wednesday.