THE diversion of the Nadi River as a means of flood control will be a long-term plan, according to Land and Water Resource Management project manager Vinesh Kumar.
Speaking after the first day of the quarterly meeting of the Nadi Basin Catchment Committee, an apex integrated body endorsed by Cabinet in 2009, Mr Kumar said: "A study will commence around December and will provide a master plan which will recommend diversion or any other structures (to control flooding).
"There was confusion that the diversion project would start soon, in fact, it's the study to find out the feasibility of the 1998 study and its recommendations.
"Some of the issues discussed include illegal gravel extraction, updates, ongoing programs and projects, updates on the retention dam works, new capacity-building training and updates on the JICA study."
Mr Kumar said flood control also required the support of farmers and villagers, especially in land use practices.
"From here we will look at the structures downstream such as people who rely on dredging, building a retention dam and river diversion.
"Even if we had structures downstream, we need to look at structures upstream like deforestation and aggressive agricultural practices through which sediment could block the system.
"In doing so, we address the issue in a holistic way."
Mr Kumar said 28 disaster communities had been set up to provide short-term flood control systems.
"These committees have been formed in the most disaster-prone areas."