20 Sep 2003

Fiji landowners threaten to block construction of new dam

9:09 am on 20 September 2003

Traditional landowners in Fiji have threatened to block the construction of a new dam at the Monasavu hydro site by physical force unless they are paid compensation promised three years ago.

The compensation of 26 million US dollars was agreed to after the landowners seized the hydro installations during the May 2000 coup and forced power rationing for two months.

The Daily Post reports that the landowners, through their lawyer, Tevita Fa, say that this compensation has not been paid yet and the land in question has not been surveyed.

They have issued a notice to stop all construction work immediately.

The state-owned Fiji Electricity Authority wants to build a new dam because the current installations provide only just over half the power required on the main island and during the current drought this has dropped to only thirty per cent