MINISTER KUMAR RELOCATES RESIDENTS OF BALABALA CRESCENT
Friday, 1 May 2020 – The Minister for Housing and Community Development Hon. Premila Kumar today visited residents of Balabala Crescent in Newtown, Suva.
These residents feared their lives and property were under threat, after a landslide occurred on Wednesday morning.
During the visit, Hon. Kumar said that the Ministry had to attend to a house that was sitting on the edge of the landslide.
“The Ministry issued a letter to the family whose house was on the edge of the landslide yesterday, requesting them to vacate their house, given the high possibility of the house collapsing should it continue to rain. The family took heed of our advice and vacated their home this afternoon. With the assistance of the Divisional Office, Mr. Mani and his family will be accommodated at the Newtown Seventh Day Adventist Hall temporarily till their house is built at a safer location” said the Minister.
The Minister added that the Ministry had to consult the Housing Authority of Fiji on the issue, as the lot was a subdivision of the Housing Authority of Fiji.
“We had to consult the engineers of the Housing Authority of Fiji and after we consulted them, we discovered that the initial lot was bought in 2004 with a safe slope cut on the hill side. The lot was later resold in 2016 and upon inspection by Nasinu Town Council in 2017, the safe slope cut was removed and a straight cut was made to the cliff to reclaim around 5 meters of land.”
“With continued heavy rainfall in the last couple of days, it made it even faster for the soil and rocks to slide down the hill, resulting in blocked drains and flood water entering into the homes of some residents at the foot of the hill,” said the Minister.
Hon. Kumar further stated that it was important to adhere to relevant Regulations in place, when excavating a hillside. Given its detrimental effects, it was crucial that all steps were followed and relevant authorities informed.
“It is extremely important to obtain the necessary approvals from the relevant authorities, before excavation work is carried out to avoid any risk to property, people or future development.” said Hon. Kumar.
“I therefore urge all those involved in excavation works or those planning to conduct excavation works, to consult their respective Municipal Councils.” said Hon. Kumar.
With the assistance of the Ministry of Housings carpenters and upon Mr. Mani’s consent, the family’s home will be relocated and built within the same settlement.
For further information please contact:
Mr. Sanjeeva Perera
Ministry of Housing and Community Development
Tel: 3304 364