MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 28/03/14 5:00PM

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  1. FIJI AND MALAYSIA SIGN MOU TO BOOST HEALTH DEVELOPMENT – Fiji?s bilateral relations with Malaysia in health development will soon see a boost following the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

 

  1. JAPAN ASSISTANCE TO BOOST FIJI FISHERIES SECTOR – The Department of Fisheries today received over $400,000 worth of grant aid equipment from the Overseas Fisheries Cooperation Foundation of Japan (OFCF).

 

  1. SOLAR ENGINEER SHARES SKILLS – After solar electrifying all the houses in her village, 44 year old female solar engineer Mrs Lautani Nabua of Waikubukubu Village in Tavua has taken the initiative a step further by sharing her skills on solar electrification with the women and youths.

 

  1. FIJI TAKES LEAD ROLE IN GEOSPATIAL DEVELOPMENT – The importance of information management in Fiji is gaining momentum through the Fiji Geospatial Information Council meetings.

 

  1. FIJI JOINS INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO CELEBRATE WORLD METEOROLOGY DAY – Fiji joined the international community today to celebrate ?World Meteorology Day? with the theme ?Weather and Climate Engaging Youths?.

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1 FIJI AND MALAYSIA SIGN MOU TO BOOST HEALTH DEVELOPMENT

Fiji?s bilateral relations with Malaysia in health development will soon see a boost following the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Fiji?s envoy to Malaysia, High Commissioner Ratu Meli Bainimarama signed the MOU on behalf of the Fijian Government with Malaysia?s Secretary General for Health, Datuk Farida Binti Mohd Ali.

The ceremony took place this week at the Ministry of Health headquarters in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

?This MOU will strengthen our relationship and collaboration with Malaysia which already exists in a number of areas. I am grateful for the Malaysian Government for allowing this to extend to health and Fiji has a lot to gain from it. Amongst others, Malaysia has a thriving medical tourism industry and this is one of the areas that can be considered by Fiji?, said High Commissioner Bainimarama.

?Under the MOU Malaysia and Fiji will set up a Joint Task Force to discuss ways of advancing cooperation under the various areas identified in the MOU.?

During the ceremony, HC Bainimarama briefed Datuk Farida on the work carried by out by Fiji?s Ministry of Health especially in combating dengue fever. He added that Fiji can also learn from Malaysia in addressing Non-Communicable Diseases.

 

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2 JAPAN ASSISTANCE TO BOOST FIJI FISHERIES SECTOR

The Department of Fisheries today received over $400,000 worth of grant aid equipment from the Overseas Fisheries Cooperation Foundation of Japan (OFCF).

Permanent Secretary for Fisheries, Inoke Wainiqolo said that the Fijian government was grateful to the OFCF for the assistance provided over the years.

?This assistance is in accordance with the Fisheries Development Assistance for Pacific Island Nations (FDAPIN) Memorandum of Understanding which was signed last year by the Acting Minster for Fisheries, Joketani Cokanasiga and the OFCF resident representative, Shima Fukuda,? PS Wainiqolo said.

?We have been fortunate that during the past two decades, OFCF has donated 19 ice plants to Fiji.?

He added that the OFCF has also been instrumental in the training of fisheries officers.

The OFCF resident representative, Shima Fukuda said that FDAPIN project for Fiji includes ice machines, deployment of technical experts and 1 twin cab vehicle.

?For Fiji it is rather difficult to maintain fisheries facilities so OFCF will bring in technical experts to assist in this area,? Mr Fukuda said.

?The FDAPIN project implements technical transfer and capacity building through repair and restoration of fishery related facilities.

The OFCF was established in 1990.

3 SOLAR ENGINEER SHARES SKILLS

After solar electrifying all the houses in her village, 44 year old female solar engineer Mrs Lautani Nabua of Waikubukubu Village in Tavua has taken the initiative a step further by sharing her skills on solar electrification with the women and youths.

A recent visit by the Ministry of Women officials to the Waikubukubu village revealed that following the installation of solar electrification in June last year, positive impacts are now being felt by the villagers.

Each of the 60 houses that had been solar electrified has a solar panel, a lantern each, along with 3 solar home light system.

?The solar lights have made it easy for women to do their household chores even late at night they can do their cooking and cleaning. The children now have the freedom to study for longer hours and even in the women centre we have two solar bulbs there and women usually love to do their weaving, sewing and baking even at night.

?There are 300 people in Waikubukubu who now enjoy solar lights and so far I have also trained 6 women and youths on solar installation. We even have a solar committee in the village and it actually helps me to carry out the maintenance work. We have done away with the candles and kerosene lamps and solar helped villagers to save money as well.

Being the solar engineer has earned me a higher status in my community and especially being a grandmother, my families actually look up to me? Mrs Nabua said.

The Waikubukubu turaga-ni-koro (village headmen), Mr Peceli Natusoro said solar energy is convenient source of energy in rural and remote villages like Waikubukubu.

?We are indeed grateful to the government for choosing Waikubukubu for solar installation, it is after long years of wait, that?s for 120 years we didn?t have any lights till last year when our solar granny put her skills to use that gave us access to solar system that is cost effective and easy to manage,? Mr Natusoro said.

In 2012, the Ministry of Women and Barefoot College identified 10 women aged 45 and 60 to undergo six months of solar electrification training at the Barefoot College in Rajasthan, India.? Following their return, these engineers had solar electrifications in their respective villages in Fiji.

The solar villages include Dama Village in Ra and Waikubukubu village in Ba and for Eastern Division the 4 villages in Kadavu are Baidamudamu, Lawaki, Nabouwalu and Naioti village.

Similarly for the Northern division, the 6 villages are: Vunidogoloa in Cakaudrove, Lutukina and Nabouono village in Macuata, Yasawa and Nakorovou village in Bua province.

The rollout of the solar electrification has been conducted under the flagship of the Ministry of Women, the UN Women, Barefoot College and the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Areas Network (FLAMMA).

The Barefoot College has provided training to over 52 countries around the world and over 650 women have been trained as solar engineers, reaching over 350, 000 people world-wide.

There are plans in place to build a Regional Barefoot Centre in Fiji, through which more than 200 grandmothers from the Pacific Island Countries will be trained as solar engineers, reaching out to 10,000 people and expected to save about 1 billion litres of kerosene.

 

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4 FIJI TAKES LEAD ROLE IN GEOSPATIAL DEVELOPMENT

The Importance of information management in Fiji is gaining momentum through the Fiji Geospatial Information Council meetings.

The first meeting for this year looked into Fiji?s draft National Geospatial Strategy under the chairmanship of the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources permanent secretary, Tevita Boseiwaqa.

Mr Boseiwaqa urged the stakeholders to continue to support the establishment of the council as Fiji is seen by the UN-GGIM (United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management) as a lead player in this area in the Pacific region.

?We will see where we are moving from the international level, regional level and it is important for us that we keep abreast with geospatial development as the Pacific is looking at us.

?The UN body is looking at Fiji to be the catalyst for the development of geospatial in the Pacific.

Mr Boseiwaqa highlighted that the national strategy will promote and allow the sharing of centralized data from socio-economic and physical data i.e. land, sea, underground and air for decision making under 5 areas;

  • Strengthening of the existing government structures,
  • ?improvement of the fundamental geospatial data,
  • enabling access to fundamental geospatial data that we can share access to ,
  • enabling inter-operate ability with? fundamental geospatial data and
  • ?Strengthening the human technical capacity of the industry.

The stakeholders discussed the strategy and decided for further consultations with ministries and institutions on other issues. The strategy should be taken to cabinet around June, 2014.

 

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5 FIJI JOINS INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO CELEBRATE WORLD METEOROLOGY DAY

Fiji joined the international community today to celebrate ?World Meteorology Day? with the theme ?Weather and Climate Engaging Youths?.

The Minister for Works and Transport Timoci Natuva said the theme captures the important role that Fiji?s youth play in the development of the nation.

?Our youths can be powerful agents of change. Climate action is not just about greenhouse gas emissions, it is about people, about the values we share and what each of us can do to promote them,? Minister Natuva said.

?Young people are a source of innovation and of fresh insights into problems and their possible solutions. They call for just and equitable solutions,? Minister Natuva said.

Oratory competitions were organised for students that were part of the celebration.

 

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