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River dredging saves villages

Repeka Nasiko
Thursday, March 27, 2014

FLOOD-PRONE villages such as Nawaqarua, Natutu and Toqe were safe from flooding during the heavy downpours earlier this year, a direct impact of the multi-million dollar dredging works being carried out in the Ba River.

Ba provincial administrator Sitiveni Tavaga said always the worst-affected during heavy downpour, Toqe Village was saved from severe flooding this year.

"During the last heavy downpours, there was no flooding in these areas and this was one of the positive impacts to come from this dredging project," he said.

The project, which was carried out by China Railway First Group (Fiji) Company Limited, began in 2012 when about 10kilometres of the river was dredged.

Agriculture Ministry deputy secretary Uraia Waibuta said the positive impact also helped in agricultural growth.

"Most importantly, what I would like to say is the impact of this particular work being carried out," he said.

"In the recent months which experienced quite a few heavy rains and with that high intensity of rain, there should have been flooding in some of the lower areas near the Ba River but this time around there was no flood experienced in the Ba Delta.

"The Ba community appreciated that and they were grateful towards the positive implications to arise from these dredging projects.

"We are thankful for this project especially to the Ministry of Agriculture that the evidence is starting to show within these communities because if it did not happen, then we would probably be doing a lot more rehabilitation work."

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