A total of 19 seawalls will be constructed for the 19 communities around the country by the Ministry of Waterways and Environment in the 2020/2021 financial year.

This was highlighted by the Minister for Waterways, Environment and Agriculture Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy in Rakiraki yesterday.

Dr. Reddy said the construction works on various coastal protection projects will commence soon in the Northern, Western and Eastern division by the Ministry of Waterways and Environment.

He says these projects will help build resilience for coastal communities to assist them with the impact of climate‑induced coastal erosion, storm surge, and coastal flooding.

Minister Reddy reiterated that the project will be carried out through the nature base solution that will be protected by the nature based boulder -seawall, with multiple rows of mangroves as the “first line of defense” to the boulder seawall, while diffusing wave energy, and the vetiver grass as a “last line of defence” to protect land from erosion and inundation, during storm surges.

“To address, mitigate these we need cost-effective solutions. We need an integrated solution involving a hybrid of “grey-green” infrastructure, and inclining towards nature-based solutions in the years ahead,” Minister Reddy said.

“The solutions lie in nature itself and innovations, if implemented, will bring more, and more diverse, nature, and natural features and processes to address our environmental problem, through locally adapted, resource-efficient, and systemic interventions.”

Minister Reddy said, this project will benefit the 19 communities across Fiji and will be undertaken by the engineers of the Waterways and Environment Ministry necessitating outside contractors.

He said the project will be constructed within a year while similar projects will be carried out in other villages which are not in the list following the completion of the current project.

“We will do similar projects for all the villages in the country until all the villages, coastal communities are protected and safeguarded,” said Minister Reddy.The 19 nature based seawalls across the country are divided into three divisions – 8 for the Northern division, 4 in the Western division and 6 in the Eastern division in the Maritime areas.

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