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«FIJI PRELIMINARY ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT REPORT – AGGREGATE EXTRACTION IN SELECTED SITES OF THE NAVUA AND SIGATOKA RIVERS AND THE SIGATOKA ...»

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EU-EDF 8/9 SOPAC Project Report 99

Reducing Vulnerability of Pacific ACP States

FIJI PRELIMINARY ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT REPORT –

AGGREGATE EXTRACTION IN SELECTED SITES OF THE NAVUA AND SIGATOKA

RIVERS AND THE SIGATOKA SAND DUNES, SOUTH VITI LEVU

2

EU EDF-SOPAC Reducing Vulnerability of Pacific ACP States Fiji: EIA Report – aggregate extraction in selected sites in Navua and Sigatoka –

Written by:

Maleli Naiova Principal Consultant, Environmental and Resource Management Consultants December 2007 (Preliminary Release – restricted to Fiji Government until 31 January 2008)

PACIFIC ISLANDS APPLIED GEOSCIENCE COMMISSION

c/o SOPAC Secretariat Private Mail Bag GPO, Suva

FIJI ISLANDS

http://www.sopac.org Phone: +679 338 1377 Fax: +679 337 0040 www.sopac.org director@sopac.org Important Notice This report has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Community;

however, the views expressed herein must never be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Community.

[EU-SOPAC Project Report 99 – Naiova (Consultant)] 3 EU EDF-SOPAC Reducing Vulnerability of Pacific ACP States Fiji: EIA Report – aggregate extraction in selected sites in Navua and Sigatoka –

CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1. INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Purpose

1.3 Background and Objectives

1.4 Literature Review of Aggregate Extraction

1.5 The Environmental Impact Assessment Process

1.6 Key EIA Study Personnel

1.7 Key Stakeholders Consultation

2. STUDY METHODOLOGY

2.1 Proposed Development

2.2 Description of Existing Environment

2.2.1 Biological Environment

2.2.2 Physical Environment

2.2.3 Social Environment

2.2.4 Impact Assessment

3. THE PROPOSED EXTRACTION

3.1 Development Brief

3.2 Location and Deposit Sites

3.2.1 Naduri River Gravel Deposit, Sigatoka

3.2.2 Nakavu River Gravel Deposit, Navua

3.2.3 Sigatoka Sand Dunes (SSD)

3.3 Aggregate Resource

3.4 Proposed Operational Details

3.5 Operating Details

3.6 Roads and Access

3.7 Extraction Method

3.8 Crushing, Loading and Hauling

3.9 Site Drainage and Sediment Control Works

3.10 Rehabilitation

3.11 Fire Hazard

3.12 Energy Requirement

3.13 Future Development

3.14 Waste Management

3.15 Extraction Programme

4. ALTERNATIVE SITE LOCATIONS

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Naduri

4.3 Nakavu

4.4 Sigatoka Sand Dunes

5. DESCRIPTION OF THE EXISTING ENVIRONMENT

5.1 Climate

5.1.1 Naduri and Sigatoka Sand Dunes, Sigatoka

5.1.2 Nakavu, Navua

5.2 Topography and Geology

5.2.1 Naduri Village and Sigatoka Sand Dunes, Sigatoka

5.2.2 Nakavu Village, Navua

5.3 Land Use and Tenure

5.4 Noise

5.5 Erosion

5.6 Surface Water Quality

5.6.1 In-situ Water Sampling Field Results

–  –  –

5.7 Water Quality Discussion

5.7.1 Naduri Water Quality

5.7.2 Nakavu Water Quality

5.7.3 SSD Water Quality

5.8 Terrestrial and Marine Flora and Fauna

5.8.1 Introduction

5.8.2 Flora

5.8.3 Fauna

5.9 Air Quality

5.10 Visual Amenity

5.11 Archaeological and Historical References

6. SOCIO-ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Adjacent Settlements

6.3 Land Tenure

6.4 Solid Waste

6.5 Housing Conditions and Wastewater Management

6.6 Source of Income

6.7 Food Supplies

6.8 Health Care

6.9 Interviewed Communities Responses

6.9.1 Naduri

6.9.2 Nakavu

6.9.3 Sigatoka Sand Dunes

6.10 Community Consultation Meeting

6.11 Vulnerability of the Project to Natural Hazards and Climatic Change

6.11.1 Naduri

6.11.2 Nakavu

6.11.3 Sigatoka Sand Dunes

7. POTENTIAL SIGNIFICANT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

7.1 Geology, Soils, Land Use and Land Cover

7.1.1 Naduri

7.1.2 Nakavu

7.1.3 Sigatoka Sand Dunes

7.2 Terrestrial Flora and Fauna

7.3 Freshwater Flora and Fauna

7.4 Visual Impact

7.5 Air Quality

7.6 Social Impacts

7.6.1 River Utilisation

7.6.2 Increased Vehicular Movements

7.6.3 Speeding and Carelessness

7.6.4 Positive Spin-off Effects

7.7 Archaeological and Historic Impacts

7.8 Noise Impact

7.9 Water Quality

7.10 Waste Management





8. MITIGATING AND ABATEMENT MEASURES

8.1 Geology, Soils, Land Use and Land Cover

8.2 River Bank Protection

8.3 Terrestrial Ecology – Flora and Fauna

8.4 Freshwater Environment and Waste Management

8.5 Visual Impact

8.6 Air Quality

8.7 Social Impact

8.7.1 Adverse Impacts and Management

8.8 Archaeological and Historical Impact

8.9 Noise

8.10 Economic Benefits

–  –  –

8.11 Community Support for the Project

8.12 Proposed Environmental Management Plan

9. CONCLUSIONS

10. RECOMMENDATIONS

10.1 The Present

11. REFERENCES

ABBREVIATIONS AND TERMS

–  –  –

We acknowledge the European Union for its financial support of this study as part of task implementation of Key Result Area 1, of the SOPAC-EU Reducing Vulnerability of Pacific ACP States Project Task Nos. OI 4.1.1 and 4.1.2. We extend our gratitude for the invaluable assistance of logistics support (equipment and personnel) that was provided by the Mineral Resources Department of Fiji through the leadership of Jeremaiya Taganesia (Geology) and Apete Soro (Environment).

We commend Akuila Tawake of SOPAC for the development and implementation of this part of the Project in Fiji. An earlier version of this document was reviewed by Akuila Tawake and Arthur Webb also of SOPAC.

–  –  –

Introduction The Naduri and Nakavu villages intend to develop gravel deposits that are adjacent to their villages. Contractors at Kulukulu propose to extract sand on the Kulukulu end of the Sigatoka Sand Dunes (SSD) in Sigatoka. This report comprises the Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of these proposed resource developments.

The assessment of impacts for the purpose of this report has been carried out based on the proposed development and associated work.

Proposed Development

This EIA report has been prepared for the following proposed works:

the total area of aggregates extraction in Naduri, Sigatoka and Nakavu, Navua;

site preparation which includes putting in cut off drains or trenches on the boundary of the property, backfilling the subject area, construction of additional drainage control, construction of rest house and toilet facilities, and associated crusher site facilities;

rehabilitation, landscaping to minimise the effects of site disturbance; and construction of appropriate fencing for security and delineation of the crusher property.

Review of Environmental Impacts The primary consideration in the evaluation and assessment of environmental impacts were the potential negative effects on the surrounding area of the proposed project. The principal issues investigated were any likely changes in water quality, noise, terrestrial and marine flora and fauna, visual amenity and social issues. The conclusions of the EIA are summarised in this report.

Water Quality Water supply to the site will be provided through PWD water main sources for drinking.

A water quality assessment was undertaken at Nakavu (4 sites), Naduri (4 sites) and the SSD foreshore (4 sites) on the boundary of the property at three different areas.

In-situ water measurements and laboratory analysis of water samples were undertaken at these sites along the properties’ boundaries. In-situ measurements on the following parameters: pH, temperature, conductivity, turbidity, salinity and dissolved oxygen were also undertaken.

Laboratory analysis for TDS, TSS, Sulphate, Bicarbonate, Carbonate, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Silica, and Nitrate were also undertaken. Apart from high turbidity levels, the other physical and biological parameters were within acceptable limits of the ANZECC Guideline for Protection of Aquatic Ecosystems (ANZECC 2000).

–  –  –

Noise Impacts It is recommended that machines and equipment to be used during the project incorporate standard noise mitigation measures. These measures should safeguard the neighbouring community from adverse noise impacts during the construction stage of the project. Adverse impact may only derive from traffic noise and from operating machinery. However, this is only noticeable in the proximity of the project area during the operational phase of the project and machinery noise during gravel extraction and crushing.

The restriction of construction activities to daylight hours will minimise annoyance due to loss of acoustic amenity to nearby residential dwellings. Planting trees on the boundary bordering the crusher site should mitigate noise levels during operation of the crusher. This screen would act both as a noise and security barrier for the occupants.

Terrestrial and Marine Flora and Fauna Impacts Terrestrial flora and fauna present on site are common in other parts of the country and are not on the list of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna.

Apart from a few rare plants at Kulukulu, the development would not have any significant impact on flora and fauna both marine and terrestrial based.

Air Quality Impact The only likely impact envisaged is that of dust created by screening and crushing and trucks entering the site. Water to control dust will be sourced from the water main or from the river.

Watering of the project site during extreme dry conditions will reduce dust emission to acceptable levels.

Visual Amenity The proposed development area will have local vegetation planted within and on the boundaries.

Beautification of the access and project area with plants will have a positive visual impact to the barren landscape and the general roadside scenery.

Social and Economic Impact There is potential for new employment opportunities for local residents in the Naduri, Nakavu areas. However, any shortfall in terms of skills and qualification required on site will be met by workers outside these project areas.

On a national scale, this development meets the requirements and needs of the Government to encourage investment that would assist in boosting its revenues.

Conclusion The villagers’ development is justified on the basis of it complying with the requirements of the Ministry of Environment’s EIA Guideline and the Environmental Management Act 2005.

The development has no particular engineering constraints and meets the environmental assessment criteria.

–  –  –

The development design, operation, proposed environmental mitigation measures and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) will ensure that all requirements are met and there will be no significant impact on the environment.

The EIA undertaken, therefore, supports this resource development.

–  –  –

1.1 Introduction Fiji as a developing country/nation relies heavily on aggregate for constructing infrastructure like buildings, roads, pavements etc. Aggregate are presently sourced from river gravel and hard rock to meet local and sometimes regional demand. Most quarrying companies see river gravel to be the more cost efficient of the two and this source is often vigorously exploited.

As development increases, aggregate demands increase; such demand puts pressure on local river gravel sources. The need for increased production to meet the market demand has in turn given rise to unsustainable methods of extraction, which has serious environmental ramifications.

On Viti Levu, development is centred around the Suva area, the Coral Coast and the Nadi/Lautoka corridor. The two major suppliers of aggregate within this region are Standard Concrete Industries Limited (SCIL) and Winstone Aggregates, with majority of their material being sourced from the Navua River, adjacent to and downstream from Nakavu Village. This has been exploited for many years with increasing intensity of extraction witnessed in the last five years.

One of the key focal areas of the SOPAC-EU Reducing Vulnerability Project is the identification and assessment of sand and gravel resources for construction in the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) including Fiji. One such area is the potential of river gravel to provide sources of income for resource owners. This led to an EIA being conducted at certain identified sites along the Sigatoka and Navua rivers that have gravel deposits with potential for commercial benefits. In addition, the previously low-profile sand extraction being conducted at the Sigatoka Sand Dunes (SSD) is included in this study (Figure 1).

1.2 Purpose

The preliminary EIA of proposed operations to exploit selected aggregate deposits in the Navua and Sigatoka rivers is undertaken as part of the task implementation of Key Result Area 1 of the SOPAC-EU Reducing Vulnerability Project. This Project is under the Ocean and Islands Programme Work Plan, Task Nos OI 4.1.1 and 4.1.2.

The study is also part of the aggregates assessment in the identified areas of these two rivers.



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