Caption: New irish crossing improves safety for villages. Photo: PACIFIC REACH LTD.

NOVEMBER 5, 2015. The Lawaki River flows between the villages of Vanuakula and Nasau and has posed a major problem over the years.

“To cross the river we had to throw huge rocks into the river to make a natural bridge, it was our only way to get across. And that meant children on their way to school, farmers with their produce, villagers running errands, all had to make this dangerous crossing over swiftly moving water. There was no other way,” said Akosita Vesilaki, who lives in Vanuakula Village.

But the difficulty in crossing the river is now being addressed. The Fulton Hogan Hiways crew, working under a tender contract from the Fiji Roads Authority, are constructing an Irish crossing 41 meters in length, 4.8 meters wide and 1.5 meters high that when finished will ensure a safe crossing for the approximately fifty families who live there at Vanuakula.

According to Eddie de Vries, Fulton Hogan Hiways Special Projects Manager, the Irish crossing is expected to be completed in early December.

Vanuakula and Nasau are two of five villages that make up the district of Nalawa in the province of Rakiraki. The villagers are primarily farmers, growing dalo, cassava and sweet potatoes, a portion of which they sell in the markets.

Ladawa Road connects the villagers to the Kings Road and its closest town, Rakiraki 54 kms away.



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