31 Oct 2005

Fiji government accepts responsibility for flooding

5:10 pm on 31 October 2005

The Fiji government has accepted responsibility for renewed flooding in areas north of the capital, Suva.

Hundreds of villagers and farmers woke up yesterday to find their homes flooded after heavy rain overnight caused the Waimanu River in Sawani and the Korovou River in Tailevu to burst their banks.

Th Fiji Times reports the government has admitted that local people are right when they claim the flooding in most of these areas could have been avoided if the rivers had been dredged.

The minister for disaster management, Ted Young, says the government will spend 30 million US dollars in the next 10 years on dredging to ease the problem of flooding.

Mr Young says flooding the same areas in the past 15 to 20 years had not been as bad as it is now.

Farmers are also being taught soil conservation to prevent the siltation of rivers.

Meanwhile, the Nadi Weather Office is warning of more flash floods this week because heavy rain is expected to continue