Lost land and the peg

Narikoso villagers stand where a peg was planted. The border for two landowning units now is a sandy beach. Picture: SIKELI QOUNADOVU

A HUGE portion of land has been lost in the past half century as a result of rise in sea level at Narikoso Village in the district of Ono Island in Kadavu.

The land area lost in the past 50 years is about 20 metres out at sea along a 100 metres stretch which is now a sandy beach.

About 20 metres from land out at sea is a peg planted decades ago to mark the land boundary of two landowning units.

Today, it has turned out to be a beach. As a result of the rise in sea level, the village seawall has been moved twice.

Semi Naqelevuki said when he left school in the 1960s about 20 metres of land was still there.

“Now, the land is no longer here and all we have to do is prepare to relocate.”

The rise in sea level is not only forcing villagers to relocate but they are also set to lose one of their cultural representation.

The chiefly mound of the vanua o Raviravi is now under threat as already the tide has reached the foot of the mount.

“It was last occupied in the 1970s and while it hurts to move, this is a decision we must take,” added Kelepi Saukitoga.

About two decades ago, Luisa Radininamalata noticed the tide kept coming in, she did not know anything about climate change nor the rise in sea-level but it was evident they had been losing land.

“This area here used to have a lot of trees but now it’s all gone,” she said while pointing at the sandy beach.

“Today, it’s all gone. Please save my paradise,” said the 72 year-old.

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