Ba

Erosion control devices to protect riverbanks and coastlines

Over the next month, villagers from the districts of Nacula in the Yasawa chain of islands and Nailaga in Ba will be up-skilled in sennit and coir log weaving to help protect their eroding riverbank and coastlines. The climate change adaption project aims at strengthening governance and resource management for climate resilience in Fiji. Coir […]

Staff Writers

July 12, 2016 9:19 am

Over the next month, villagers from the districts of Nacula in the Yasawa chain of islands and Nailaga in Ba will be up-skilled in sennit and coir log weaving to help protect their eroding riverbank and coastlines.

Filipe Raturaga preparing his sennits for workshops. (WWF)
Filipe Raturaga preparing his sennits for workshops. (WWF)

The climate change adaption project aims at strengthening governance and resource management for climate resilience in Fiji.

Coir logs are tube shaped erosion control structures woven from sennits (magimagi) derived from coconut fiber which will be embedded along the river bank with a mixture of vetiver grass and native tree, all targeted towards stabilization and rehabilitation of river banks, waterways, and coastlines.

WWF-Pacific climate change officer Ms Rusila SavouĀ said the project is a new innovative solution for Fiji.

SAVOU: “We will be working on rehabilitating the coastline of Nacula and planting some of the vegetation that used to be there before. We are preparing for what we are going to implement in Nacula, as this coir log rehabilitation is fairly new and innovative natural solution for Fiji.”

Savou said that around 224 meters of theĀ coastline of Nacula village have been eroding over the past few years.

SAVOU: “For instance, their church and health centres are slowing being swallowed by the sea. So they are open to any method that can help them. Magimagi/sinnet from where coir log is made from something we already have. This method of weaving is mostly practiced in central and southern Lau and so it will be a good way in trying to rehabilitate areas that are eroding river banks or coastline areas that these villages are on now.”

Savou added that no rehabilitation work was done for the district of Nacula.

She said this natural technology application is conceived to be an inexpensive means of combating climate change and its associated detrimental effects using naturally available materials.

The month-long workshop will enable villagers to learn the process of husking the fibers, baking the special ‘magimagi’ coconuts and rolling the weave strands for weaving.

Specialist and traditional craftsman Filipe Raturaga, will prepare weavers from districts in Yasawa and Ba to effectively protect their eroding coastlines and riverbanks through the utilization of natural resources.

RATURAGA: “Within two weeks, the participants will be able to understand the techniques of weaving to preparing the coconut fibers because it is not hard to learn. One just has to see it with their own eyes and they will be able to learn how to make a sinnet (magimagi) for the coir logs.”

Specialist and traditional craftsman Filipe Raturaga with one of the 'Magimagi' coir logs he weaved. (WWF-Pacific).
Specialist and traditional craftsman Filipe Raturaga with one of the ‘Magimagi’ coir logs he weaved. (WWF)

Communities will also participate in planting and caring for the variety of coconuts meant specifically for the process.

More than 70 coconuts and sprouted seedlings from Cicia and Ono-i- Lau will be planted throughout Nacula and Nailaga districts.

The WWF-Pacific PACAM funded project will have a team in Nacula in the Yasawas from the 11th to 21st of July and in Nailaga, Ba from the 25th to 4th of August.

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