Fiji

The Sea - It's Stealing Our Land

Nestled in the foothills of Navua, lies the sleepy community of Togoru. This community has witnessed firsthand the rise of the seas and seen how it has taken over their cemetery and their land.

The shoreline extended more than 150 meters out towards the open sea until 1995 when the sea level started rising covering everything in its path and causing families to move inland. A cemetery, which is now part of the ocean, is evidence of sea level rise. Families used to enjoy horse racing on the beach that is now part of the ocean. Mr. Mcgoon recounted the story of Edward Gaul who is buried in the waterlogged cemetery. Edward was on his way to work on the morning of his death when he was hit by a sugar cane train. He was thrown approximately 6 meters into the air but miraculously survived with only a broken finger. Later in the day the same train veered off the tracks and crashed into Edward’s office killing him instantly. All the graves now lie submerged in the ocean at high tide and at low tide they are exposed all topsy turvy and covered in barnacles.

Foreigners and Environmentalists have been monitoring the rise of the sea level and the rapid erosion of the land in Togoru but so far nothing has been done to fix this problem.

— Justin Hickes & Valerie Chute

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