Min­istry re­sponds to flood­ing is­sue in Tavua river

Fiji Sun - - Nation - Source: DEPTFO News

Flood mit­i­ga­tion man­age­ment is the key pri­or­ity for the Min­istry of Wa­ter­ways and En­vi­ron­ment, in pro­vid­ing bet­ter and clean ac­cess to wa­ter to ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

To mit­i­gate flood­ing in the Na­sivi River, the debris clear­ing pro­ject was un­der­taken by the min­istry with a to­tal cost of $ 3840.00, which will end to­day.

The Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Ru­ral and Mar­itime De­vel­op­ment, Wa­ter­ways and En­vi­ron­ment, Ma­hen­dra Reddy, said the pro­ject was in line with the min­istry’s 2019-2024 strate­gic plan.

The plan is based on build­ing re­silience to cli­mate change-in­duced wa­ter­ways haz­ards through the pro­vi­sion of flood mit­i­ga­tion, river­bank, and wa­ter­shed man­age­ment ac­tiv­i­ties.

“It is ev­i­dent that given fu­ture wa­ter­ways haz­ards such as flood events could be more fre­quent and se­vere, this op­er­a­tional ob­jec­tive is de­signed to in­crease the adap­tive ca­pac­ity of all Fi­jians to wa­ter­ways re­lated haz­ards,” he said.

Mr Reddy re­it­er­ated that the work done was for the bet­ter­ment of com­mu­ni­ties as it has a po­ten­tial im­pact on the health of the river, which would ben­e­fit the com­mu­ni­ties “Farm­ers and the com­mu­ni­ties can now have bet­ter ac­cess to clean

wa­ter for ei­ther ir­ri­ga­tion or live­stock pur­poses as farm­ing is the main source for the com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

Mr Reddy said the pro­ject would also avoid the in­fras­truc­tural dam­age caused by the debris dur­ing the floods.

Late last year, the min­istry also cleared debris from the Si­ga­toka River old bridge so that wa­ter could flow freely. A num­ber of rivers were also at­tended to dur­ing and af­ter the floods since the es­tab­lish­ment of the min­istry.

Mr Reddy notes that they would con­tinue to be vig­i­lant in clear­ing the wa­ter­ways so that it had the ca­pac­ity to dis­charge wa­ter to its full ca­pac­ity and thus the ad­ja­cent in­fra­struc­ture and com­mu­ni­ties were not af­fected neg­a­tively.

He noted that fail­ure to clear the wa­ter­ways from debris was not only costly, but could re­sult in ma­jor dam­age or com­plete wash away of the cross­ing or bridge.

Photo: DEPTFO News

Work­ers clear­ing debris in the Na­sivi River.

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