Fijians living in Batinikama, Labasa will not have to worry about flooding problems whenever there is heavy rain.
This follows the commissioning of the flood mitigation programme in the wider Batinikama area including Namoli village outside Labasa Town today by the Minister for Waterways, Dr Mahendra Reddy.
“There are approximately 3,500 people that live in this area. Whenever there is flooding, you will see people and children not being able to attend work and school,” Reddy said.
He added flooding had been a problem in this area for decades, and apart from the agricultural damages that they usually encountered, two lives were lost during the flash floods of Tropical Cyclone Cliff on March 10th, 2007.
“The Batinikama – Namoli flats, flooding has existed for a long time due to many factors such as cultivated farm erosion, soil erosion in catchment areas and logging that has elevated the creek’s bed level over the years. Debris with tree trunks blocked and disturbed river flow and also the nature of the drainage system that discharged at a very slow rate to the Qawa River,” Reddy said.
He said the programme included the cleaning and disposal of debris of 300 acres to the lower reaches of the Qawa River and desilting of the drainage channel.
Reddy added that the total project cost was $28,500 and it would take 30 days to complete.
Batinikama Advisory Councilor Anita Devi said this was a timely intervention.
“This is something great for the community as we will all benefit and I would like to thank the Government for this,” Devi said.