Village burial ground relocated due to sea level rise

April 14, 2024 7:16 am

The village of Yasawa may be one of the remotest in Vanua Levu, but it is not spared from the impact of climate change.

Villager Vinaina Voivoi says they have to relocate their burial ground because of the rise in sea level and coastal erosion over the years.

She says that a few years ago, the villagers had to collect the remains of their loved ones from the beach.

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“For us, the sea is our hope, but with the slowly rising sea level, I could witness the change in shoreline; the impact started moving inward. I’m worried soon the area will be under water and we will no longer be able to utilize this piece of land: It’s no longer and expectation is actually happening; that’s why we have to move the burial grounds to higher grounds.”

Voivoi says some projects are in the pipeline, but it cannot be implemented due to the location of the village and lack of funding.

A mangrove planting project was carried out a few years ago, but it was not successful.

Voivoi says they’ve approached a few non-government organizations for assistance but are still waiting for responses.

Meanwhile, the provincial administration office in Saqani is aware of the situation in the village.