Soil erosion threat

HOUSES located near the Sigatoka River in Narata village, Navosa, are being threatened by soil erosion.

Village spokesperson Ilikimi Naiova said five families had been forced to move to higher ground because of the disappearing river bank.

“A lot of families are worried about their homes because of the soil is slipping into the river,” he said.

“Every time it rains, we notice more soil being taken away.”

With a population of more than 200, he said the villagers had been taking their pleas to Government since 2012.

“We had spoken with the former Commissioner Western Joeli Cawaki and he said that they would do something about it.

“Then he left and again we had to take it back up with the next Commissioner Western.

“We don’t know how many times we have to tell them about this problem.”

Mr Naiova said the villagers have already identified a relocation site.

“All we need from Government is help for us to move.

“We need the land cleared so that we can relocate.

“Many of us are worried that we could lose our houses if there is another flood.”

The plight of the people of Narata was documented before by this newspaper almost one year ago.

In that edition it was revealed that the villagers would need close to $1 million to relocate.

Government had stated the need to wait for financial resources to fund the relocation effort.

Mr Naiova expressed the Narata people’s disappointment at a talanoa session with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at Keiyasi, Navosa, on Wednesday.

He said the people of Narata had been awaiting Government’s response to their request for years.

In response, Mr Bainimarama said the villagers had to write a formal letter of request to Government before any action could be taken.