The people of Rewa do not agree with the Rewa River ferry service initiatives, which are still in the initial planning stages to help address traffic congestion within the Suva-Nausori corridor.
While engaging in talanoa sessions with the government following the opening of the Rewa Provincial Council meeting, Toga District Representative Ratu Peni Todua says the government should first look at the rising coastal erosion on both sides of the river before making a decision.
Ratu Peni says one of the solutions to the continuous traffic congestion during peak hours in the Suva Nausori corridor is ferry service through the Rewa River; however, this will greatly affect them and other villagers residing beside the river.
“We do not agree with this plan; we have been facing coastal erosion, and this is eating up our plantation, our land, and our resources. If this is approved again, we are in trouble. This might cost us everything.”
Todua says if this is the plan, there is a need to net both sides of the river to avoid coastal erosion.
“If this is the case, then the government should first look at building a seawall or netting to keep both sides firm. This should be done first before the service begins.”
Minister responsible Ro Filipe Tuisawau says this is part of the government’s long-term plan, but this is not confirmed.
“This is part of our long-term plan; we will have to first hear the views of residents living on both sides of the Rewa River, and we are also working with the Ministry of Environment on this issue.”
The largest shipping company in Fiji, Goundar Shipping, first initiated the plan, which is to only have ferry services during peak hours to help address traffic congestion in the Suva-Nausori corridor.