A BRIDGE that was washed away after heavy rain in the Western Division last week has forced close to 30 children to take considerable risks travelling to and from school.
And farmers fear they may have more than 400 tonnes of sugar cane left standing in the field when the crushing season ends because of the damaged bridge.
More than 25 families at Nadele use the Sabeto Bridge in Nadi to travel to work and school.
Cane farmer Rakesh Kumar said they were trying to find alternative routes across the Sabeto River to enable harvested crop to be ferried to the Lautoka mill and, more importantly, to get their children safely to and from school.
"We're seeking the authorities' assistance in fixing this bridge," he said.
Mr Kumar said farmers had tried using tractors to ferry cane across the river but the risk to machinery and personnel made it an impossible task.
Fiji Sugar Corporation executive chairman Abdul Khan said his concern was for the bridge to be fixed for the community and also to ensure that as much cane as possible was harvested and delivered to the mill. "I will certainly follow it through and ensure that the authorities concerned are made aware of the problem," he said.