Ministry receives free dredging offers

Minister for Waterways Dr Mahendra Reddy inspects drainage at Dreketi Irrigation area. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

PRIVATE companies have expressed an interest to do river dredging at zero cost, says Minister for Waterways Dr Mahendra Reddy. In yesterday’s briefing with government officials at Nabouwalu, Dr Reddy, who is on a week-long tour of the North, said such interest was encouraging.

His comment follows pleas from villagers of Bua for the two main rivers at Nakadrudru (Lekutu) and Bua (Bua Lomanikoro) to be dredged.

Dr Reddy said this would be done and his team could attend to it depending on the availability of dredging machines stationed in Labasa.

The expression from private companies, Dr Reddy said, could also be considered for the two rivers.

“These companies want to do dredging for free and they will take the silt and use it,” he said.

“So we will look at those options too and also do scoping work for sea walls in villages that have requested it. “We can have two or three teams to move out to the islands and do preparatory works because these sea wall projects are big projects compared with dredging, which we can do when the dredging machine is available.”

Assistant district officer Bua Apisai Vularika told the briefing that islands of Yaqaga, Galoa, Navatu (Kubulau) Yadua and Tavea have asked for assistance.

These pleas include construction of sea walls, drainage and water flow issues.