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Fiji Time: 1:56 PM on Saturday 19 April

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New river bank for village

Torika Tokalau
Sunday, January 26, 2014

Buretu Village in the Rewa Delta will now have a river bank better protected from serious erosion.

This follows an agreement signing with the USAID's Coastal Community Adaptation Project (C-CAP).

The agreement is a climate change adaptation measure which will ensure the protection of infrastructure, homes and public buildings.

"Without intervention, this will only worsen as sea levels rise and extreme rain fall events become more pronounced," said Jason Brenden, the US Embassy's regional environmental officer.

Buretu experiences some climate change impacts including soil erosion of foreshore areas, regular flooding, and saltwater intrusion.

Floods are of particular concern as they cause septic tanks to overflow, contaminating the groundwater, and infiltrating freshwater reserves, leaving the village vulnerable to bacterial disease outbreaks of diarrhoea, and at worst, cholera and typhoid.

Villagers report saltwater intrusion affects their main crops taro, cassava and coconuts.