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Natural disasters threaten public assets

October 15, 2021 6:15 am

Minister for Infrastructure, Jone Usamate says damage to government assets will continue to be a challenge in future natural disasters.

Usamate says public infrastructure planning is expensive and making it resilient to the forces of nature is even more costly.

He says work continues to make these public assets including water, electricity and roads more resilient.

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“It’s an ongoing thing, you see when you do a massive replacement for infrastructure its, not something that can be done immediately, for instance, the water is costing us more than $270 million and for water also you need to replace a lot of the pipes and we have leakage in the systems.”

As we approach the cyclone season, Usamate says people’s behaviour could further contribute to the already high cost of damage even though the government expects some level of losses.

“One of the important things that we have now is for people to clean the rubbish out of the system, if you go along the roads now you see plastics everywhere, we also have the issue of deforestation, when you have a lot of deforestation there is a lot of silt that comes down and that can lead to a lot of erosion.”

Terry Atalifo the Director of the Fiji Meteorological Office says the key message is for everyone to be prepared whether it be industries, communities, or individuals.

The damage bill for Tropical Cyclone Yasa on Fiji’s roads alone stands at around $20 million while Energy Fiji Limited suffered six million dollars worth of damage.

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