Flood mitigation management is the key priority for the Ministry of Waterways and Environment in providing better and clean access to water to rural communities.

To mitigate flooding in the Nasivi River, the debris clearing project was undertaken by the Ministry with a total cost of $ 3,840.00 which will end tomorrow.

The Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Hon Dr. Mahendra Reddy said the project is in line with the Ministry’s 2019-2024 strategic plan on building resilience to climate change-induced waterways hazards through the provision of flood mitigation, riverbank, and watershed management activities.

“It is evident that given future waterways hazards such as flood events could be more frequent and severe, this operational objective is designed to increase the adaptive capacity of all Fijians to waterways related hazards,”

Hon Dr. Reddy reiterated that the work done is for the betterment of communities as it has a potential impact on the health of the river which will benefit the communities

“Farmers and the communities can now have better access to clean water for either irrigation or livestock purposes as farming is the main source for the communities,”

Dr. Reddy said the project will also avoid the infrastructural damage caused by the debris during the floods.

Late last year, the Ministry also cleared debris from the Sigatoka river old bridge so that water could flow freely and a number of rivers were also attended to during and after the floods since the establishment of the Ministry.

Dr. Reddy notes that they will continue to be vigilant in clearing the waterways so that it is able to have the capacity to discharge water to its full capacity and thus the adjacent infrastructure and communities are not affected negatively. He noted that failure to clear the waterways from debris is not only costly but could result in major damage or complete wash away of the crossing or bridge.