2022 General Election: Climate change concern forces villagers

Kabariki villagers in the district of Nabukelevu, Kadavu line up at the polling station to cast their vote of the 2022 General Election. Picture: ARIETA VAKASUKAWAQA

THE severe impact of climate change in the village of Kabariki is what compelled Waisea Ratudina to wait for hours to be part of the pre-polling that got underway in Kadavu.

As Kadavu entered the second day of pre-polling, he said people from the neighbouring village of Levuka were among the 254 people who cast their votes at the polling station in Kabariki.

“I am doing this for the future of my grandchildren because I have seen how climate change has really impacted our village,” the 66-year-old said.

“As you could see that a portion of the road beside the village has been destroyed by storm surges.

“The village seawall too has been destroyed by the storm surges.”

He said he hopes a government would come in after the general election to provide funding to villages impacted by climate change.

“We have been raising this issue on the need to construct a retaining wall and sea wall for many years.

“Some villagers have relocated their homes inland because of the impact of climate change, it gets even worse during bad weather.

“The village is willing to provide a portion of the materials to build the seawalls and the retaining walls to protect our village from storm surges.”

He said he was more worried about the impact of climate change on his grandchildren.

“If we don’t do something now, I don’t know what will happen to Kabariki Village in ten years’ time, we need a government that will come in and help us mitigate the impact of climate change.”

He said the same issue was faced by many coastal villages in Kadavu.

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