Nadi gears up for river diversion canal

Caption: IWRM Nadi Demonstration Project Manager, Vinesh Kumar, Nadi Special Administration, Aisea Tuidraki, Ambassador of Japan, Eiichi Oshima, and Embassy of Japan Economic Cooperation, First Secretary, Takato Maki at the Nadi River discussing about the diversion canal. Photo: JOSEPHINE NAVULA.

By JOSEPHINE NAVULA

Nadi Town Council is now working closely with the Embassy of Japan to build a diversion canal to prevent the town from flooding.

Nadi Special Administration, Aisea Tuidraki said there were reports done for the four rivers in our country but Nadi River was to a major concern.

?Diversion Canal is a part of a report of all four rivers that was done by Jigar, They did a study of rivers in Nadi, Sigatoka, Ba and Nausori.?

?There was a particular mention of Nadi River, where they stated was a priority that should be addressed first and the project for Nadi is address the flooding and minimize? the damages from flooding is to create a diversion canal,? he said.

Tuidraki said the diversion canal plan was there before and it was picked up again.

?We had several meetings in our chamber, I was chairing the meeting and the outcome was a majority consensus from the community as a whole, that we badly need to do something because the intensity of flooding is quite massive,? he said.

Tuidraki also said the plan has made them work together as it will bring about positive changes to the community.

?It was something that challenged us, we started to think and work together. We saw that this river canal that this diversion canal plan can help as it will reduce the flooding, as it will be out before it hit the villages.?

?Everybody was agreeing that we should pursue this project, we ended up inviting the engineers who were involved. And they flew back to Nadi at their own expenses,? he said.

The town?s Special Administrator today toured the various areas of Nadi where the main river runs, with the Ambassador of Japan, Eiichi Oshima, Embassy of Japan Economic Cooperation and his First Secretary, Takato Maki. They discussed the steps the town can take to minimize the flooding problems.

Mr. Oshima said Japan is now undertaking the project for the planning of the Nadi River Flood control Structures in cooperation with the Fiji Government.

?Through this project, the master plan for Nadi river flood management will be drawn up, prior to the implementation of a feasibility study for the effective flood management structures including the diversion. I expect the project to contribute drastically on the improvement of the flood management of the Nadi river,? he said.

Mr. Oshima also said the implementation process of this project will be lengthy because it needs a lot of data collection and consultations.

?While awaiting major improvement to materialise in future, we have to continuously exert flood migration process on the Nadi river. In this regard, Japan has decided to support the procurement of a new excavator to the Nadi Town Council in this fiscal year,? he said.

He adds that the excavator is expected to be utilized to reduce flood damages in Nadi through the improvement of drainage in flood-prone areas as well as to clear up debris debris and disposal of silt after a flood.