Sea level rise forces Fiji villages to relocate

• April 12, 2013
sea level rise

Two villages in Fiji are to be re-located inland due to encroaching sea levels. Creative Commons: Frontier, 2012

Two villages in Fiji are to become the country’s first community-scale relocations, as sea level rise and coastal erosion forces residents out of their homes.

Vunidogoloa village in northern Fiji and Narikoso in the south are both increasingly suffering from inundations of seawater that leave many of the residents’ houses flooded.

Plans are currently being drawn up to relocate around 60 families from across the two villages. In the north of the country, residents from  Vunidogoloa village will be moved 1km further inland, away from the vulnerable coastlines. Similar plans are being considered for Narikoso village.

The country joins a host of other Pacific nations looking at possible options for relocating their vulnerable communities.

Speaking to the Pacific Beat on ABC Radio Australia Samisoni Pareti a freelance journalist from Fiji explained:

It is already affecting the village itself. In the northern village of Vunidogoloa the coastline has receded right into the village green and the first line of homes that were directly by the sea are always flooded when there is high tide.

It is the same story down in the south in the village of Narikoso. They did try to put up a sea wall to block off the sea but with no success and usually when it is high tide half of the village green is flooded from seawater.

In Vunidogoloa it is about 30 families that have to be relocated. That is about 150 men, women and children. And it is a similar number, about 27 from Narikoso down south. You are looking at about 250 to 300 people that the Fiji government has decided to re-locate because of coastal erosion.

Read more: ABC Radio Australia >>


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