LIFE will be much easier for villagers in Daku in Tailevu after they signed an agreement with the USAID-funded Coastal Community Adaptation Project (C-CAP) on Thursday for infrastructure climate change adaptation measures for the village.
For more than 77 years, the village had been a victim to the rise in sea level; their daily lives affected during high tide when the seawater crept inland, most times into their homes.
"During high tide seawater came into the village and it really had a huge effect on our daily lives and health.
"Our children had to wade through water to get to school," village headman Biu Naitasi said.
The agreement with C-CAP means a new floodgate will be built, with repairs and maintenance done to the four existing floodgates.
"The current four floodgates have improved life in the village but it still does not completely drain out the rain water.
"The new floodgate will ensure that we have proper drainage and keep the villagers and our homes safe during high tides and natural disasters."
US Embassy regional environment officer Jason Brenden thanked the village of Daku for being the first to volunteer to participate in the climate change adaptation and resilience projects in the Pacific.
"It is our hope that USAID's assistance will significantly reduce the vulnerability of the people of Daku and your neighbour Buretu to the effects of climate change, which without intervention, would only worsen as sea levels rise and extreme rainfall events become more pronounced."