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Fiji Time: 8:20 AM on Thursday 24 July

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Villagers relocate

Nasik Swami
Wednesday, April 03, 2013

THE impact of climate change has forced the relocation of people from two coastal villages in Fiji.

In revealing this yesterday, director environment Jope Davetanivalu said the villagers relocated were from coastal areas in Cakaudrove on Vanua Levu and in Kadavu.

He said the government had been assisting those villagers in relocating to higher grounds because of coastal erosion from the impact of high waves and also the erosion of river banks from numerous flash floods.

"Relocation will be the only option to safeguard their resources and to allow better livelihoods for the elders and their children," Mr Davetanivalu said.

He said the village in Cakaudrove had about 20 to 30 families.

He said the relocation work was progressing well and the Minister for Environment Colonel Samuela Saumatua paid a visit last week to monitor the current activity.

"There is some portion of land cut to allow settlement and it is visible that there is stabilisation taking place," Mr Davetanivalu said.

"With climate change being witnessed here in Fiji, this has triggered some movement," Mr Davetanivalu said.

He said Kadavu was in the same situation where the government was currently intervening and a team would go this week to undertake works.

"The physical impact of climate change is happening and changes are taking place. If we look at the Rewa Delta, there has been saltwater intrusion, size of drains does not cope with water coming through and also along the Coral Coast, it's visible.

"The coast is being eaten away and there is evidence of coastal erosion," Mr Davetanivalu said.


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