International-proven method to combat riverbank erosion

The Ministry of Waterways and Environment is considering the use of vetiver grass system to stabilise riverbanks and reduce soil erosion. Picture: FT FILE

FIJI’S Ministry of Waterways and Environment will soon implement an internationally-proven methodology to combat riverbank erosion around the country.

Unsustainable land management activities have led to the prevalence of land erosion along river banks.

According to the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Local Government and Environmen, Joshua Wycliffe, the vetiver system for river bank stabilisation and sustainable management of land and water was an integrated approach to use green technologies for riverbank stabilisation, coastal and environmental protection.

Through the system, he said riverbank erosion could be reduced by nearly eight to 10 times if the vetiver grass system was utilised.

“This system can also reduce impacts of contaminated water and improve its quality (through trapping debris, toxic chemicals, sediments, and particles),” Mr Wycliffe said.

“The ministry has thus considered using this grass system to stabilise our riverbanks and reduce soil erosion. This would strengthen our resilience to river bank erosion, catchment erosion, and mitigating flood impacts.”

The program will commence in Tailevu and Nadi soon.

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