Board Vital In Addressing Drainage Issues: Rayalu

Duplication of Duties – Opposition MP says of Board

Reckless and irresponsible waste disposal continues to be the cause of flooding and contamination of waterways in Fiji.

Fiji’s Minister for Waterways Vatimi Rayalu told Parliament today that this is part of the reason his ministry has resurrected the Drainage Board.

“The drainage of water is a huge issue for Fiji and we must continue to push out there the importance of keeping our waterways clean, disposing of rubbish in a responsible manner so we can put a stop to the kinds of floods in our communities.”

He also highlighted the importance of efficient drainage systems for farming and disaster mitigation.

Last week, the drainage board was re-established in Suva with reps appointed in the Central (Semi Matalau), Northern (Gyan Chand) and Western (Vinod Kumar) divisions.

These officers will be responsible for highlighting community issues with drainage and approaching relevant authorities to address the issues.

Opposition MP Sachida Nand criticised the idea adding that the FijiFirst Government abolished the board because it was ineffective.

He argued that the Ministry of Waterways should handle these responsibilities and questioned the need for duplication of duties.

“This board was only looking after its own areas and were not taking a holistic approach. Setting up the drainage board is a duplication of duties. We have a Ministry of Waterways, and then we have the drainage board. Is the ministry not capable of doing its own work?”

However, in announcing the establishment of the board last week, Rayalu explained that the board’s focus on agriculture production areas would complement the Ministry of Waterways’ work on larger water bodies.

The board comprises agriculture officers and farmers.

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