China donates seawall to Fiji

CNC reporting from Fiji
Added On July 18, 2013

Abroad, too, China is making efforts to deal with the problems caused by climate change. The Chinese government has donated a sea wall to the pacific island nation of Fiji. As sea levels rise, Fiji is struggling to protect its coastal villages, which risk eventually being completely underwater.

Fiji is an archipelago of more than 300 islands located in the Pacific Ocean. Some 850,000 people live on the islands, mostly near the coast. With ocean levels rising, some villages have already been forced to relocate farther from the water. Fiji's very existence is threatened by climate change, an issue which it tries to highlight in international forums.

The new sea wall on the island of Viti Levu was dedicated on Wednesday under the Chinese government's Gratuitous Aid Program.

The Chinese ambassador to Fiji, Huang Yong, said he's pleased that the wall will protect people in the village of Kiuva from high tides and flooding in heavy rain.

Fiji's minister for rural and maritime development, Inia Seruiratu, echoed those sentiments at the dedication ceremony, praising China's efforts to do something about the effects of global warming.

SOUNDBITE (English) INIA SERUIRATU, Fijian Minister of Rural and Maritime Development:

"This is not the first of China's projects in Fiji. There's a lot of infrastructure development going on in Fiji. There're a lot of social and economic projects as well. This is amongst many projects that China has provided for Fiji. And we will always be forever great friends. Of course global warming and the rising sea level is one of the major challenges that the whole world is trying to address. And again, this is consistent with China's assistance towards the Kyoto Protocol in bringing about safety to the well-being of the Fijian people in the rural areas as a result of sea-level rise."

According to the minister, at high tide, the sea was noticeably spilling into the village of Kiuva. The sea wall, apparently, has come just in the nick of time.