For the villagers of Koro Toga in Fiji, having their homes and belonging submerged by flood waters is a regular occurrence. Bounded by the Rewa River, Fiji’s widest river that flows from the central highlands to the southeast, the villagers of Koro Toga are prey to the destructive floodwaters. Tropical cyclones and heavy rainfall events exacerbated by high tides are major factors that create a cradle of helplessness among the villagers as there is not much to do but to save whatever that can be spared.
This project was significant as the idea was generated by USP Geospatial Science students based on their earlier experiences in the PTC Tradition and Technology project. This clearly exhibits the empowerment the project has engendered within the Fijian youths to identify problems and implement solutions using ICT in a traditional setting. The students involved in the project took part in assessing flood risk based on digital terrain models derived from drone digital surface models tied to the Fiji Map Grid and height datum. They concluded that flooding in their general vicinity was inevitable and the solutions to flooding would require critical engineering works.
Students also identified [that] the tributaries were blocked and hence acted as a reservoir for rainwater breaching the mouth of the tributary to elevating the impact of flooding. The students generated a flood risk model through the use of Geographic Information Systems software. Although modelling the real world is never a perfect process, the model clearly demonstrated how floods are a real problem that exists for the villagers of Koro Toga.
The students further identified threats to food resources in the village and hence developed the concept of village profiling, which is a new direction of research for the Geospatial Science Unit at The University of the South Pacific.
The flood simulation video can be viewed below:
For more information about this project, please access the complete report: PTC Tradition and Technology Project by Aleen Prasad and Nick Rollings.