By: CHARLENE LANYON/The Fiji Times

A DECADE after building adaptation measures to ensure the rising sea level did not claim its land, villagers of Daku Village in Tailevu are now facing a new challenge.

Development committee chairman Olota Rokovunisei said the village of about 400 people had continued to experience first-hand the effects of climate change.

“Our challenge now is filling the land in our village so that it is above sea level,” Mr Rokovunisei said.

“Before, our village green used to be flooded by seawater and our children had to travel to school by boat.

“We found a solution to that by building five metre high road dikes (embankment holding back water) so that when it was high tide, the water would not come in.

“That solved our problem but now the whole village is focused on the next issue because the highest point in our village is only 1.38 metres above sea level.”

Mr Rokovunisei said more than $300,000 was needed to raise the road dike another three metres to counter future sea level rises.

“The need is genuine and immediate and I want us to enjoy the facilities and the land now.

“We have three settlements as part of this village and we have no place else to go.

“To fill the land, more than $2 million is needed to supply, place and compact suitable materials inside our village so that we raise it above sea level.”

He said the committee had been preparing a funding proposal since January to submit to the relevant agencies.

“We also hold a fundraising drive every year and we managed to collect about $20,000 and we use this collectively on our projects while we wait for assistance.”

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