Bua chief Ratu Makutu Nagagavoka is pleading with relevant authorities to help them build a stronger and permanent bridge for his villagers.
The old suspension bridge had withered away and was damaged during flooding in 2015. It was being used by the villagers of Bua Lomanikoro and other villages nearby.
“We want it repaired because we don’t want anyone to get hurt,” Ratu Makutu said.
“Students and other villagers who use the footbridge were affected as far as transportation is concerned.”
After the flooding in 2015, the villagers, students and market vendors had to use a makeshift raft to get across the river. The other option was to travel by carrier but this would be costly and would take longer to get to the other side.
The villagers then built a temporary one last year made out of timber. It has no safety railings and can easily be swept away should the river get flooded again.
“There are six villagers, not including the settlements, who use the footbridge every day,” Ratu Makutu said.
“Last year the villagers built a temporary one so that we can use it while waiting for relevant authorities to help us.
“Most villagers are market vendors and they need a stronger and permanent bridge so that it will be easy to transport their produce to the Nabouwalu or Labasa markets.”
The Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) confirmed a Request for Tender for the construction of a single lane bridge at Bua Lomanikoro closed on January 25, 2018.
Villages that use the bridge – Bua;
Dalomo; Koroinasolo; Navuniyevu; Waitabu; and Tiliva.
The damaged bridge at Bua Lomanikoro. Bua PHOTO;PENI DRAUNA