Minister for Rural and Maritime Development Inia Seruiratu. [File Photo]
Government cannot rush the relocation of Cogea Village in Wainunu, Bua says the Minister for Rural and Maritime Development Inia Seruiratu.
He says government will not rush the relocation until they are certain the new site meets the required standards as stated in the Relocation Guideline.
Cogea has been earmarked for relocation after heavy flooding of the Wainunu River during TC Yasa that swept away 18 homes in the village.
Seruiratu says they will await the geo-tech survey as they do not want a repeat of what happened in Vatukuca Village in Vaturova, Cakaudrove in 2006.
“Vatukuca, they went ahead with the land preparation on the new site without the geo-tech survey and when the geo-tech came, it was not recommended. So, Vatukuca has to stay in its current location and that’s where it will remain now.”
Government under the Ministry of Forestry has provided a portable sawmill to Cogea villagers to saw timber for their homes.
Seruiratu says people can make their own choice about building their new homes but the Government is guided by the Relocation Guideline and they have to make sure to follow it to the latter.
According to Seruiratu, the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development facilitates the relocation on behalf of the communities but there are some issues that are beyond the Ministry’s grasp, like geo-tech surveys.
The geo-tech surveys are done by the Mineral Resources Department and is essential in ensuring the best and safe place to relocate and build homes.