A tender is expected to be advertised later this week seeking a contractor for the Penang River dredging work, according to the Fijian Minister for Waterways, Dr Mahendra Reddy.
The Fiji Times reports that the Government of Fiji was looking at a comprehensive package – a three-year program for Rakiraki.
“Immediately what we want is — this Saturday there is a tender out in the papers for dredging of the Penang River,” he said.
“That will happen in one and a half months and that particular project will begin.”
“Up until now, we haven’t really had a national level of discourse on the importance of waterways. We’ve always taken for granted that waterways are there, but I think it’s time now to start a national level discourse.
“What are our commitments to protecting our waterways to ensure that Fijians are also guaranteed a secure source of water in the future but that’s a broader agenda.
“We will be developing a national waterways policy and strategic document that will lead to the development of specific waterways legislation,” said Dr Reddy at a public consultation in Rakiraki yesterday.
He also added that the establishment of the ministry demonstrated government’s commitment to ensure a long term strategy recognizing the importance of waterways in Fiji’s growth and development.