Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) is planning to ban the use of river gravels in roadworks from 2020.
Confirming this, FRA Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Moore says with river gravel material the consistency of the stone is uncertain, and it also causes irreparable damage to the environment.
“The FRA is intending to move in the direction of managed land-based extraction rather than river gravel extraction because of environmental and social impacts.”
The FRA aligns itself to SDG 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation and SDG 11: Make cities and human settlement inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Mr Moore said sustainability remains a serious consideration for the Authority and they would be implementing this change as soon as sufficient hard rock sources were available to meet the demand.
“We need to consider about sustainability in our work to avoid over-exploitation of natural resources. We also recognise the limitations that we face in Fiji on resource availability and we take this into account by re-using materials wherever possible.”
He said the sub-grade materials could be re-worked, with minimal need for additives, to provide the foundation for a new road surface.
Mr Moore said that a future FRA strategy will be to obtain quarry licenses and then manage the rock extraction and crushing activities under third party operation.
“We have taken the initiative in identifying potential aggregates sites all throughout Fiji. This process commenced in the Northern division and this strategy will be continued in the Central Eastern and Western Division.