Vil­lagers Grate­ful For Re­tain­ing Wall

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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

Photo: Shratika Naidu

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.

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