There is no single solution to addressing the Nadi flood problem.
This was stated by the Assistant Minister at the Office of the Prime Minister Honorable Sakiusa Tubuna, whilst visiting the flood affected areas at the villages of Namotomoto, Narewa and Yavusania in Nadi at the invitation of the Turaga na Tui Nadi earlier this week.
The discussions stemmed from the village headman’s concerns of the recent floods and landslides ultimately posing a threat to their homes due to river bank erosion.
During his visit, Assistant Minister Tubuna affirmed the need for a more integrated and holistic approach to address the Nadi flooding issue and the need to incorporate a long-term solution as a way forward.
Based on the discussions, the Assistant Minister outlined some possible solutions such as:
-the Reforestation in upper Catchment and middle reaches,
-Clearing of branches and unused loft on hilly slopes, as it can be washed away during a heavy rainfall and block the river channels ultimately causing flooding upstream
-Contour planting is suggested in hilly areas along the river beds
-Elevating the river bed channel.
-River bank protection works to be done along the river in middle reaches and lower stacks, especially if the river is meandering, and formation of either hard protection such as reinforced concrete, gabion boxes, Reno mattress and soft protection such as vetiver grass and native species such as ivi trees and vaivai trees be planted along the erodes
-Realigning of the river where the river flows taking into consideration the towns and villages and important infrastructure such as schools, hospital, temples churches and mosques.
-Widening of the river in lower reaches, if the current width is not sufficient for the design floods. Also taking into consideration the land issue such as towns, villages, and agriculture land are located
-River Bend cutting is needed to reduce the length of the river flow and flood discharge to the outlet within shorter period
-River dredging is needed from where the tidal affected area is to the river mouth channel and offshore channel it was deposited and shallow causing back water effect to rise the flood level upstream
– Hydrographic survey, grain size analyses of river bed materials and hydrological analysis to tackle the issue
– To build flood mitigation retention dams in the middle reaches of the Nadi river to store temporary water and slowly release the bottom outlet to reduce flood levels downstream to avoid bank overflow and damages. This dams could also be used as for irrigation of horticulture crops.
“Watershed management is very broad, collaboration between government agencies, civil society organisations and local communities is paramount”, Assistant Minister Tubuna added.
Fiji is one of the world’s most vulnerable nations to climate change and climate-related disasters. Climate change causes major adverse environmental, social, cultural, and economic repercussions and, in some cases, have detrimental consequences. Fiji is also particularly exposed to rising sea-levels, floods, and landslides.
The Peoples Coalition Government has reaffirmed that a beneficial response strategy is the way forward to help cope with climate change and other environmental and socio-economic problems.