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Rising sea level forces families to move

Luke Rawalai
Sunday, December 17, 2017

MORE than 12 families in the village of Naivaka within the district of Navakasiga in Bua have been forced to move inland because of the rising sea level.

Village elder Marika Bola said he was still a young boy when his elders had begun crying for a sea wall in the village to act as a buffer for the encroaching sea. The 65-year-old said his elders had now passed on and it would be his turn soon but there was still no sign of a sea wall being constructed.

Mr Bola said villagers said they would stare helplessly during king tides and adverse weather as the waves inundated land close to the shoreline.

"A big portion of the village has moved inland as a result of the rising sea level, but we prefer to stay here because this village site is home to us and our ancestors are buried here," he said.

"It might sound foolish to some, but this is the sad truth that we are forced to live with.

"We have been promised a sea wall from past governments and we are still waiting for this promise to be fulfilled."

Another village elder, Vilive Mira, said they needed a sea wall badly to save their shoreline. Mr Mira said their plight had been taken lightly, falling on deaf ears.

Commissioner North Jovesa Vocea said he had directed provincial administrator Bua to do a scoping exercise so that they could determine the scope of work that was required and the costs involved. Once this was done, they would then look for funding for the project.

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