Reddy visits affected village

COMMITTED to addressing issues and impact of climate change faced by 700 people of Votua in Ba, Minister for Waterways Dr Mahendra Reddy paid a visit to the area to address their issues.

Turaga-ni-koro Vilikesa Soko said he had made a request for assistance and was surprised when the minister contacted him personally.

“He came to the village last Thursday and saw the condition of our drains, roads and the biggest issue we have — erosion of our river bank,” he said.

“We have lost about 100 metres of river bank because of heavy rainfall and swift floodwaters flowing down the Ba River, which also affects our fishing and collection of kai.”

Dr Reddy said the visit to the area was because of the concerns about the impact of climate change on the 140 households in the village.

“They had three main issues,” he said.

“In terms of the massive erosion of the river bank, I told them that we will do an engineering survey and seek funding in the next budget as it’s a very costly project or we could seek international funding as well.

“Poor drainage always led to flooding in the village and I assured them that we will do scoping work next week and assist in fixing the drains so that rainwater flows out rapidly.

“Flooding of the road leading to the village which used to avoid vehicles and people from going to and from work is not an issue any longer. I spoke to FRA and got the road drains fixed on Friday and Monday.”

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