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Ditoka outlines plans for Nabavatu Village

The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management has revealed that based on GPS and aerial mapping conducted over Nabavatu Village, in Dreketi Vanua Levu the majority of the dwellings in the village are at high risk.

Speaking in Parliament, Minister Responsible Sakiasi Ditoka said that all buildings and houses located within the medium to high-risk zones would need to be relocated as a precautionary measure for the villagers’ and community’s safety.

Ditoka said the village, in its present condition, was considered not safe for future habitation, as they remained in the risk of reoccurring geo-hazard events in the future.

He said upon advice from the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, the villagers of Nabavatu had to relocate to the Dreketi Assemblies of God Church compound, which is one kilometre from the village site – making it thr village’s temporary relocation site since the geo-hazard event in early 2021.

“The Ministry of Rural Development is managing this relocation in alignment with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the Plan Relocation Guideline. The SOP was designed in alignment with the Inter-agency Standing Committee Framework for durable solutions for internally displaced persons.”

“The SOP has embedded lessons learnt from the previous six relocation projects, to ensure future relocations improve on the gaps identified from previous projects.”

Ditoka said the SOP is guided by the Climate Change Act 2021 and the Climate Change Policy 2018-2030 and includes a comprehensive Risk Assessment Methodology to assess and rank the communities, justifying the selection of a community.

He said Nabavatu Village relocation is the first in the country to adopt the new SOP on planned relocation.

The first payment tranche was released last month through our Climate Change Division, totalling $244,335.06, and the breakdown is as follows:

  • $191,055 was paid to the Ministry of Public Works; and
  • $53,280 was paid to the Ministry of Waterways.

An expected timeline of completion of Phase 1 is by 17 May.

Phase 2 and 3 implementation works have been tendered through the Fiji Procurement Office, which was advertised last month.

The 30-day tender invites all registered construction companies to bid for the activity as design and bill work for 37 houses, communal septic tanks, footbridge, and connecting footpaths.

Background

The Nabavatu Village was critically affected by a geo-hazard event that shocked the community in 2021, following Tropical Cyclone Ana.

This involved a series of land slumps, landslides, tensional cracks and associated ground displacement. The tensional cracks identified at the hillside posed risks to more than 20 buildings, resulting from high rainfall, associated with poor surface drainage.

The rainfall recorded in Dreketi at that time was around 309.5 mm, one of the highest rainfalls experienced during TC Ana.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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