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Piloting stream health assessment in rural and remote communities of Fiji: a case study of Drawa block villages

Rashni, Bindiya (2014) Piloting stream health assessment in rural and remote communities of Fiji: a case study of Drawa block villages. [Professional and Technical Reports]

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    Abstract

    A stream health monitoring training was conducted in the six communities of Drawa block namely Batiri, Drawa, Keka, Lutukina, Nayarailagi and Vatuvonu that highly depend on riverine ecosystem. Rivers provide a lot of natural resource for these inland communities. The training was aimed to improve the understanding of villagers on the basic biotic structure and functioning of streams and rivers. It also raised awareness on the impacts of day to day activities around the catchments and how these threaten the ecological state of these freshwater bodies. The training consisted of an interactive theoretical workshop in the community hall during the first half of the day and then field work in nearby streams after lunch hour. Participants from each of the six communities comprised of men, women, youths and children. As part of the interactive workshop, the villagers were taught about the stream physical structure, biological communities, stream health monitoring using bioindicators and threats to streams and rivers. The participants were introduced to the usage and importance of the color coded field guide of bioindicators of stream health and the stream habitat assessment sheet. Freshwater macroinvertebrate sampling equipment was provided by Live and Learn. The equipment comprised of a sieve, a bucket and a white tray. Threats to the village streams were identified by the villagers and these included gravel extraction, removal of riparian forest, farming, logging, alteration of channel for bridge construction, dumping of rubbish and presence of livestock close to water source or stream bank. The field work involved: I. Site selection for rapid assessment of streams whereby sites were chosen in relation to point of disturbance. Three sites per village stream were selected for stream health monitoring. Site one was below the village/settlement. Site two was above the village and farm zone. Site three was a reference site, an upstream near intact and or unimpacted section of the stream furthest from the village. II. Sampling of freshwater macroinvertebrates and identification of biological indicators using the color coded field guide and completion of the stream habitat assessment sheet at the selected sites. 6 Upon the completion of field work, a stream health monitoring plan was developed by the villagers. Two groups per village were established; group one and group two. Group one would be assessing the selected three sites per village in the second week of each month while group two would be assessing in the last week of each month. The data would be recorded in the habitat assessment sheet and deposited with the village headman. A data log book was given to the village headman to record details of stream assessment fortnightly and any village related significant event.

    Item Type: Professional and Technical Reports
    Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
    Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > Institute of Applied Science
    Depositing User: Bindiya Rashni
    Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2016 16:14
    Last Modified: 23 Jun 2016 16:14
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/9020
    UNSPECIFIED

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