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Fiji Time: 4:11 AM on Friday 18 April

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Sinking feeling

Serafina Silaitoga
Sunday, March 04, 2012

THE effects of climate change and rising sea level have seen a daily overflow of seawater into the village of Vunidogoloa in Cakaudrove.

In fact, the 40 households have become used to having seawater under their homes or in the compound during high tide.

The seawater enters the village through drains within compounds.

"It doesn't happen only during heavy rain or natural disaster when the waves come into the village. It happens everyday when there is high tide and we are getting worried," said villager Samuela Banicau.

"I was born in this village and this is the first time I have seen seawater entering the village everyday during high tides."

Mr Banicau said the village used to sit at least three metres above sea level when he was a child.

"Today the village is at the same level with the sea and when we sit in our houses, we just look straight out to sea which never used to happen.

"Before, we used to look down at the sea and I guess what's happening today is all part of climate change," Mr Banicau said.

Government has already prepared the new village site about two kilometres inland from the current site.

When The Fiji Times visited the village last week, little ponds of seawater could be seen on the village green.

Mr Banicau said the villagers have become used to having a flooded compound every day.