No immediate relocation plans for Levuka Vaka-Viti Village
April 6, 2021 11:02 am
Relocating villages is not an immediate plan for a number of people along the coastlines of Ovalau.
Levuka Vaka-Viti Village elder, Ratu Jope Sigaruarua says they’ve noted recurring coastal erosion and damaged roads as a result of rising sea levels and storm surges.
Ratu Jope says the authentic outlook of Ovalau is slowly eroding.
He adds this is a clear testament that climate change and rising sea levels are already on our doorstep.
“Right now, we’ve been advised to find a relocations site. We have identified a suitable location on the far hilltop from Levuka Vaka-Viti and plans are in place to start cleaning the area.”
He also highlighted that another alternative is reclaiming a portion of coastal area for further infrastructure development, particularly roads.
However, this remains a long-term plan as it will require thorough discussions with relevant authorities and adequate financial footing.
“Otherwise, we will have to expand the coastal area and that will only be possible through land reclamation. If it’s going to happen, we will not be relocating.”
Plans are also in place to plant more mangroves to reduce the impact of sea-level rise, heavy swells, or storm surges.