The Kiuva sea wall project is an example of government’s commitment in addressing sea level rise and protecting villages along coastal areas.

Those were the sentiments of the Minister for Rural and Maritime Development, Inia Seruiratu at the commissioning of the Kiuva village sea wall project which was funded through the Government of the People’s Republic of China Gratuitous Aid Programme.

“The rise in sea level is leading to coastal erosion. With the majority of villages and settlements in Viti Levu located along the coast, there is noticeable infiltration of the sea into the village compound during high tide,” Minister Seruiratu said.

“The Kiuva Sea Wall project is one such example to address the rise in the sea level rise and to protect the village surroundings.”

The minister also added that successive development plans by government have recognised the critical importance of managing the environment and natural resources, to ensure social and economic prosperity.

“As a developing nation with scarce resources and competing priorities and obligations, the government has preferred to seek foreign aid and assistance from development partners to finance environmental related projects like this one in Kiuva,” Minister Seruiratu said.

Commending the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the minister said the Fijian government had submitted its request through the Chinese Embassy seeking assistance for the construction of the 206 meter-long sea wall in 2009.

“The total cost of the project is $2.5 million and is a symbol of the strong cordial and lasting technical and bilateral cooperation between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Fiji,” Minister Seruiratu said.

“The Kiuva Sea Wall stands today not only as a landmark in itself but manifests engineering skills in having constructed a structure that would meet the challenges we all face in all other parts of the world and that is the rise in sea level.”

Reiterating the Chinese government’s commitment of enhancing bilateral cooperation and assisting Fiji’s economic and social development, Ambassador for the Government of the People’s Republic of China to Fiji, Mr Huang Yong said that he was pleased that the sea wall was now protecting villagers of Kiuva from high tides and heavy downfalls.

“The sea wall has withstood the test of many high tides and hurricanes and I would like to thank the local villagers for the facilitation and support provided during the implementation of the project.

The Kiuva sea wall project was constructed by the China Railway Fifth Group also included the construction of boulder groynes and stone pitching of village drains.