Land lessees face challenges

THOUSANDS of tenants under the iTaukei Land Trust Board have been affected daily because of the changing weather patterns normally caused by cyclones, severe floods and prolonged droughts.

TLTB general manager Tevita Kuruvakadua said this was common for all different land leases including residential, agriculture, industries and tourism leases.

“For iTaukei leases that are affected by the rising sea level, tenants are taking measures to safeguard land loss from erosion, floods and inundations.

“Mostly affected are the tourism leases where major resorts are located such as Mana Island Resort and Spa, Double Tree Resort (Sonaisali Island) and Denarau Island who are protecting their beachfronts with rocks and boulders — which is changing the landscape of these resorts,” Mr Kuruvakadua said.

He said tenants who live along the coast and river banks were also taking steps to protect their leases and properties by putting up barricades or simply moving to a safer site at work.

“This is in full support of the advocacy by the president of the COP23 who happens to be our Prime Minister, Minister for iTaukei Affairs and chairman of the TLTB Board of Trustees,” he said.

He said that as an organisation, they would continue to focus on the relocation of affected villages.

“Building of sea walls, supporting development initiatives and programs that are deviating from diesel fuel to clean energy through the facilitation of hydro projects, solar and wind power programs, enforcing good husbandry and sustainable land and forest management practices,” he said.

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