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Fiji Time: 11:58 PM on Saturday 19 April

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$0.5m for river diversion

Salaseini Moceiwai
Friday, December 06, 2013

THE fear of losing their homes to floods would soon be over for a group of villagers in Cakaudrove after the government stepped in to divert the flow of the Suweni River.

Funded through the Public Sector Investment Program (PSIP), the project will cost government $0.5million.

In an Information Ministry statement, Macuata provincial administrator Joseva Rokonai said the village was prone to flooding.

"The Land and Water Resource Management (LWRM) engineers were called to mark points where the river can be re-diverted to avoid further damage and flooding to the village," Mr Rokonai said.

"This year, the tender for the river diversion project was awarded to the Jaduram Contractors in Labasa and they are given 40 days to divert the river and deepen it so the water can flow freely without overflowing in future."

Suweni Village headman Josefa Mailagi said in the statement the destruction caused by the flood in 2003 was the worst event experienced by villagers.

"We are so thankful to the government of the day for this project and this really shows that it has done a lot for the vulnerable communities in rural areas like ours," Mr Mailagi said.

Project manager Shalendra Prasad said work was now in its first stages.

"We have dug a 240-metre diversion on the first phase and the second phase is to construct a 100-metre long structure to uphold the eroded part of the village," he said.

"We are trying our best to adhere to the 48 days timeline and this is dependent on the weather."