Cheaper to move people than to fix flood areas

It is cheaper to relocate people from flood and disaster-prone areas than to fix infrastructure or build dams or divert river systems to reduce the level of flood threat.

This was the message conveyed by visiting water management specialist Dr Alfred Duda to Minister for Primary Industries Joketani Cokanasiga during a visit to the Nadi Meteorological Office last week.

“It is cheaper for the government even though it’s disruptive for the community to actually move the people most likely to be affected, that are living in vulnerable areas,” the Senior Adviser on International Waters for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) said.

Dr Duda also said it was imperative that relevant data was collected and studied to assist government to make important decisions about the relocation of vulnerable communities.

“This is why it is important to have flood maps and occurrence intervals of floods so you can start to see what your options are because the trend will be that through plate movement, sea level rise or more frequent rains that you will have more flooding here,” Dr Duda said.

Source: Fiji Times Online Image: Globalvoicesonline

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