There has been a lot misinformation being propagated by certain landowners and in social media platforms about the three (3) hydro dams that are to be built by Hydro Fiji Limited in Namosi.
iTaukei Land Trust Board CEO, Tevita Kuruvakadua said claims that the landowners were not consulted in process of issuing these leases were totally false.
“I can confirm that a series of public consultations were made by our officers since 2015. If we have to count there were about 41 consultation meetings done to 18 villages and respective landowning units in Namosi who will be directly or indirectly affected by the three major leases or projects, he said.
The total land area be leased out by Energy Fiji Limited (EFL) for a period of 99 years is 203 hectares; 42.7 hectares is on reserve land and 160.6 is outside reserve. Hydro Fiji will sublease from EFL for a period of 30 years. TLTB has issued letters of offer to two projects and still working on the third project where the land is within reserve and need to obtain the required consent.
Mr Kuruvakadua said majority of the landowners supported the three projects.
“The benefits provided to the landowners and the people of Namosi under these leasing arrangements including compensation for their natural resources as well as the provisions of other benefits like employment and business opportunities are quite attractive,” he added.
With the support of the Department of Environment, the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) have been conducted as required under the Environment Management Act 2015.
It is estimated that the projects will save 30 million litres of fossil fuel and reduce emission by some 84,000 metric tonnes of carbon-dioxide per annum should the projects become fully operational.