$7Million Damages To Pine Plantations In Kadavu
A total of 78 per cent of pine plantations were damaged after Tropical Cyclone Harold struck Kadavu last month.
Minister of Forestry Honourable Osea Naiqamu said these damaged plantations have an estimated volume of just over 100,000 cubic metres valued at over $7million.
“Government initially had plans for the maritime island pine schemes like this one in Kadavu but they would now have to refocus considering the damages left behind by TC Harold,” Minister Naiqamu said.
He added initial plans included villagers acquiring monetary gains from their pine schemes and construction of their homes while at the same time mobilizing harvesting and replanting operations.
Fiji Pine Trust Manager Extension Division Mr Lasarusa Turaga while addressing pine resource owners in Kadavu last week said there is enough pine on the island to cater for Government’s TC Harold Housing Rehabilitation program.
“From what I have seen on our trip last week to Kadavu, there were alot of damage to pine plantations,” Mr Turaga said.
“This aside, pine logs once properly treated, should be alright to use for the housing rehabilitation programs that will be undertaken by Ministry of Forestry and Fiji Pine Trust.”
“It is a positive move by Government to rehabilitate resource owners under pine schemes in Kadavu who are trying to rebuild their lives and improve their livelihood as there a lot of pine resources in Kadavu.”
Mr Turaga said Government is focused on building stronger houses and should do well with the pine that is at hand.
“Kadavu has one of the well-stocked pine plantations in the country apart from Lakeba and Gau and am sure villages that fall under the pine schemes had other development plans in the pipeline but unfortunately TC Harold has quashed all that.”
Mr Turaga added once TC Harold Rehabilitation program is over, Fiji Pine Trust in partnership with Ministry of Forestry will need to work twice as hard in ensuring pine trees are replanted as it grows well on the island.
Pine plantations occupy 943 hectares of land that come under the 11 pine schemes in Kadavu namely Ono, Tiliva, Tabanivonolevu, Sanima, Tavuki, Yawe, Solodamu, Nabala, Muani, Nasegai and Namalata.
Other related pine schemes are in the Lau and Gau.