Australia, through the AIFFP, will finance up to AUD5 million for essential catchment management and upstream flood mitigation work for the Nadi Flood Alleviation Project. This will support the Government of Fiji with critical assessments in the upper Nadi catchment, including assessments of watershed conditions to assist the development of flood models, which can inform land management practices and assist with disaster preparedness and management. The support will also assist the Government of Fiji with the development or strengthening of watershed management legislation. The AIFFP’s investment complements work under design by the Government of Japan and the Asian Development Bank.
The Nadi Flood Alleviation Project is the Government of Fiji’s top major infrastructure priority. The purpose of this project is to mitigate future damage to the Fijian economy and people’s lives from floods in the commercial centre of Nadi town and on the Nadi flood plain.
Up to AUD5million
Government of Fiji
Nadi is one of Fiji’s major population centres. It has particular economic significance as the gateway to Fiji, home to Fiji’s major international airport and several large resorts. Nadi was the principal port of entry for nearly 900,000 visitors in 2019. Historically, tourism accounts for a large portion of Fiji’s GDP, and tourist numbers were growing 6.4% annually since 2014 until recent COVID travel restrictions.
Flooding in Nadi town is a significant issue. There were 26 major floods in the Nadi catchment since 1991. Floods in 2009 and 2012 were particularly severe. In January 2009, floods in Nadi claimed 11 lives, left 12,000 homeless and caused FJD113 million worth of damage, including FJD81.2 million in Nadi town.
The Nadi Flood Alleviation Project complements work undertaken by the Fijian Government to avoid future floods, including building five retention dams in flood prone areas. The Project is designed around the model of a 1 in 50-year flood event in Nadi.