ICI began work this week to replace eroded land using red soil. However, the director of the National Environment Service (NES) Joseph Brider says the soil is “not allowed” to be used on foreshore projects.
“We put an immediate stop to the work,” he says.
“Approval was only given to use sand from the beach where there were large deposits following the recent flooding.”
Rarotonga had its highest rainfall in a decade last month. The ensuing floods caused substantial damage to a number of properties throughout the island. Water mains were damaged, land was severely eroded, and properties were waterlogged for days.
Brider says some of the large build-ups of sand will be used to replace eroded areas elsewhere around the island.
There are four approved sites where sand will be extracted. They are Nukupure Park, Muri (near Koka Lagoon Cruises), Parengaru in Titikaveka, and an area near the Little Polynesian Resort in Titikaveka.
Brider expects the work to take at least a week to complete.