New Lighthouses To Be Built Around Fiji In 2014

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Authorities working to ensure safe sea passages

By Losalini Rasoqosoqo

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Sun, Jan. 6, 2014) – More lighthouses will be built this year to boost safe navigation within Fiji’s waters, says the Ministry of Works, Transport and Public Utilities.

This is a continuation of the work done by the ministry for the past three years to develop, upgrade and improve the country’s navigation aids.

The ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Commander Francis Kean, said the nine lighthouses are earmarked to range from Viwa to Bekana Island, Kadavu, Totoya, Vanuakula and Yadua.

The latest lighthouses to be built by the ministry were at Cakaumomo Reef in the Koro Sea, which is an isolated reef between Batiki Island and Koro Island.

"Mariners who know Cakaumomo Reef, will know what I am talking about. Cakaumomo Reef is in the middle of nowhere, open to the elements and there been some very interesting stories from the staff who worked at the site. We were blessed too with some consistent good weather," Commander Kean said.

The ministry recently completed the construction of six lighthouses in the Northern Division in waters off Macuata from Mali Passage to Malau Wharf.

Lighthouses on Muanivanua, in Koro Island and also at Curucua Shoal in Nadi waters are complete.

In late December the tug Dre Donu and the barge Dautukituki completed installing 40 beacons in waters from Buresala in Ovalau to Natovi right up to Vuya Passage in Nabouwalu.

Commander Kean said the second phase of this beacon piling exercise would see work undertaken from Nabouwalu to Wairiki and on to Galoa Harbour in Bua.

In 2011 and 2012 the ministry built six lighthouses in waters off Nadi Bay including the lead lights at Momi and Navula Passage.

Similarly, it also completed building two lighthouses on Wakaya Island and North Ovalau.

The ministry has been working closely with the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) and the Government Shipping Services in ensuring that Fiji meets its international obligations.

This is by ensuring that there are safe sea passages for domestic and international ships in our national waters.

He said feedback from ship owners and sea pilots operating in these waters were highly favourable and encouraging.

Commander Kean saluted the efforts of his engineers, staff of the Department of Works and Government Shipping Services for accomplishing these projects.

His ministry, he said, has been grateful to the Government for its continued support in this area of maritime development.

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