Focus on significant infrastructure upgrade

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Regional director of ADB Pacific regional office in Fiji Aaron Batten. Picture: WATA SHAW

With climate change being one of the major challenges affected Fiji, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is focused in upgrading significant infrastructures to become more resilient to natural disasters.

This was highlighted by regional director of ADB Pacific regional office in Fiji Aaron Batten during an interview yesterday.

He said two of the biggest sectors that were currently being overlooked by ADB were water supply and sanitation as well as transportation.

“So in water supply we’re supporting the government to be more resilient to drought events,” he said.

“These are being followed through by the installation of a large scale water intake up on the river just outside the Suva to Nausori corridor and that would be resilient to one in 100 year flood events.

“In the transport sector we are supporting the government to upgrade significant portions of the Kings highway and the queens highway to make these roads better quality and to make them more resilient to severe disaster events.”

He added at a more local level, ADB was currently working with the Ministry of Waterways to pilot a new nature based approach to coastal protection.

This project would include supporting communities to replant lost mangroves to reduce sea water intrusion.

“This is also to help build nature based sea walls that help to protect them when high tide events do occur.

“I think that a very exciting opportunity to pilot these nature based community approaches to coastal resilience and if successful, I think it offers a lot of opportunities for scaling it up across Viti Levu but also Vanua Levu and other islands.”

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