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$0.5m for drainage upkeep

Luke Rawalai
Friday, June 13, 2014

THE Labasa Drainage Board has used about $0.5million for the maintenance of drainage network in the North.

And one of the common repair works the board has attended to is the destruction of floodgates, which has resulted in sea water intrusion into cane farms.

This year, the board has used $120,000 for the upkeep and maintenance of drainage networks.

Labasa Drainage Board secretary Gyan Chandra said last year, they spent $361,000 for drainage maintenance and infrastructure rehabilitation works.

Within its jurisdiction, the Labasa Drainage Board maintains 12 drainage schemes consisting of a network of main drains and infrastructure such as sea walls and floodgates.

"The farmers raise their complaints regarding the drainage to the board and the field officer does inspections and advises the senior engineer on the actions to be taken," he said.

"Others are due to water logging due to internal farm drains, which is the responsibility of the farmers to clean and maintain."

Mr Chandra said increased rainfall intensity and sea level rise, which the network could not cope with, were issues the board was addressing through upgrading works.

"Each year, the board receives a grant from the government and schedules its work plans according to the available funds.

"The board needs the support of the public and stakeholders to work in partnership for the benefit of the sugar industry and farmers to also take ownership of such developments that have been constructed for their benefit."

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