Relocating village difficult

Yaqaga villager Akosita Marama on a heap of stones that villagers had put up to control rising sea level. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

DESPITE being instructed by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to move inland because of rising sea level, villagers on the island of Yaqaga off Bua insist that they have a sea wall.

Yaqaga villager Ame Busa said since Government was funding the construction of sea walls around the country, there was no reason why it could not do the same for their island.

Referring to a conversation between villagers and Mr Bainimarama during his recent tour to the island of Galoa, the 70-year-old Yaqaga native said it was hard and an expensive exercise to move.

Mr Busa said even though the idea sounded easy, it was hard for villagers.

“To move inland would need money and it is not a good idea because we have our houses,” he said.

“If Government is funding sea walls like that in Kiuva, Tailevu then we do not see any reason why they cannot do the same for us.

“It is sad that we continue to watch waters inundate the village and despite seeking assistance, there is nothing that can be done.”

Eighty-one-year-old Elena Qeqe said during her lifetime, she had witnessed the sea claim a large portion of the village.

Ms Qeqe said as the eldest villager, she was worried about the future of their children.

During his conversation with villagers, Mr Bainimarama had warned villagers to move inland.

Mr Bainimarama said there were a lot of pending sea wall projects that Government supported and it would take some time to construct the seawall on the island.

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