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Villagers wary of sea

Jone Kalouniviti
Monday, April 07, 2014

THE fast disappearing Marou Village coastline is becoming a cause for concern.

Located on Naviti Island in Yasawa, the villagers' biggest fear is that permanent buildings will soon be affected by the erosion of the beachfront and rising sea levels.

The story is the same for all villages throughout the island chain.

Seru Lasa, 46, said they became aware of climate change through the media.

He said the impact of rising sea levels and swells had accelerated over the past five years.

"The closest brick houses are only 15 to 20 metres inside now, so it is a concern," said Mr Lasa.

Seventy-five-year old Niko Betedra, remembers the time when his family kitchen was 30 metres from the existing shoreline.

"That is where I used to play as a little boy," he said pointing out to the sea when the team from this newspaper visited the village on Tuesday.

"There was our kitchen and where we are sitting now was the old government road built sometime in the 1980s."

Mr Betedra confirmed that while the erosion of the shore occurred gradually from the 1970s to the 1990s, the most drastic changes occurred over the past five years.

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