ENTERING the fifth year of the Integrated Water Resources Nadi Demonstration Project, the Land and Water Resource Management project has come a long way since its inception in 2009.
Funded by the Global Environment Facility, the project was designed to develop an integrated flood plan for the Nadi basin.
Nadi special administrator Robin Ali revealed there were efforts to manage floods but it was later realised that under the principle of subsidiary, there was an urgent need to decentralise approaches to the lowest decision-making bodies.
"And the establishment of a catchment committee was also an ideal solution," he said.
"Given the nature of the Nadi catchment and with the limited resources, it is imperative to note we cannot stop flooding but we can manage it."
He said since the inception of the project in 2009, a few systems and processes had been developed and established.
* A catchment government institution â€" the Nadi Basin Catchment Committee;
* Automation of Nadi and part of Nawaka River which includes the establishment of 12 hydrometer stations that collects real time data on river levels and rainfall across the catchment for flood forecasting;
* Establishment of a flood forecasting server with two flood early warning siren system which uses mobile phone SMS platform to alert and warn people on flooding;
* Establishment of Landcare Group in the upper catchment to promote sustainable land and forest management;
* Rehabilitation or reforestation of degraded areas (hotspots) in the upper catchment; and
* Establishment of 32 community Disaster Management Committees and development of Disaster Response Plan for each committee.