Resistance in Namosi, Villagers oppose hydro dam project

May 22, 2024 6:45 am

[File Photo]

The villagers of Navunikabi, in the interior of Namosi, are expressing strong opposition to the proposed hydroelectric dam project by Energy Fiji Limited.

This project is part of EFL’s initiative to achieve Fiji’s goal of transitioning fully to renewable energy by 2030, which includes building three hydroelectric dams in Namosi.

During consultations, the villagers voiced their preference for maintaining their current way of life and utilizing existing resources rather than risking potential exploitation from the hydroelectric dam project.

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Navunikabi Village Turaga ni Koro Vereniki Naqiolevu says this project will make their lives worse as they will have to deal with flooding on a daily basis.

“This place gets flooded even during a normal rainy day, so imagine if they close the lower end of the river; our village will definitely get flooded. That is the reason we are not agreeing to this project.”

Namosi villager Sipiriano Nariva stated that they would continue to say no to this project.

“We know that this has something to do with the NJV, which is why we are not agreeing to it. We’ve had enough. We don’t want any other development to take place in our province.”

Public Enterprise Minister Manoa Kamikamica acknowledged the concerns raised by the landowners.

That’s totally separate; one project is Naqali, and that’s being run by EIB, the European Investment Bank. The other one is an independent power producer; it’s got nothing to do with Australia; it’s another country; it’s got no association with Australia; the other project is the other hydro, Namosi Hydro; if there are any concerns there, they are misplaced.”

Kamikamica also confirms that the project is not in any way related to the Namosi Joint Venture project.

The feasibility study for the proposed project is well underway and is expected to be completed next year. A final decision regarding the project will be made post-study.

The villagers of Navunikabi remain resolute in their stance against the hydro dam, prioritizing the preservation of their land and resources over the proposed development.