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Waciwaci village silently suffering from climate change

June 9, 2015 6:28 pm

The 117 villagers of Waciwaci in Lakeba, Lau are reminded everyday through sea level rise, coastal erosion and flooding of the sad reality of climate change.

The village shoreline has moved in more than two meters since the last five years, affecting homes, the village school and the livelihood of the villagers.

Village Headman Isireli Marau says any small rain that comes, along with the waves causes the flooding of the village. Today, the villagers want their village to be relocated to a new site.

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Marau says at a recent village meeting, land owners were requested to set aside a piece of land where the village can relocate to.

Mostly affected is Waciwaci District School which has a roll of 59 primary school students and 19 kindergarten students.

A teacher at the school Inoke Cavutimabula says two teachers’ quarters has been evacuated due to the sea level rise and there is an urgent need for relocation.

“The rising sea level and heavy rain causes flooding. So, our classes are disrupted. We don’t have Physical Education classes and sports.”

Manasa Katonivualia of the Climate Change Division, which comes under the Foreign Affairs Ministry says they have able to secure funding from GIZ – the German International Cooperation Agency under the European Union for the relocation of the school.

It’s a three year project and the requirement by GIZ, by EU is we come and put together the project design document that is we have to give in at the end of this month and they’ll go through – assess the design document in a month or two and before the end of the year we should see the project implemented.

If all goes according to plan, the relocation of Waciwaci District School will take at least a year.

Seeing that climate change has become a daily intrusion in their lives, planting of mangroves and building a seawall cannot stop this phenomenon from destroying the village.

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