1?AUTHORITIES WORK WITH UN ON SAFE RELEASE OF FIJIAN SOLDIERS -?Local authorities are working closely with the United Nations for the safe release of 43 Fijian soldiers who were seized by rebels in Syria?s Golan Heights yesterday.
2?SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS FAREWELL CREW OF HOSPITAL SHIP -?Senior government officials gathered at the Kings Wharf in Suva this morning to farewell the crew and officers of the Chinese People?s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Hospital Ship PEACE ARK.
3?HEALTH MINISTER WELCOMES WHO REGIONAL DIRECTOR -?The World Health Organisation (WHO) regional director, Western Pacific Region Dr Shin Young Soo was officially welcomed by the Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma to the Labasa Hospital earlier this morning.
4?WHO REGIONAL DIRECTOR TO ASSESS HEALTH SERVICES -?The World Health Organization regional director from the Western Pacific Regional Office, Dr Shin Yong Soo is on a visit of Fiji inspecting health facilities and the effectiveness of services provided by the health sector.
5?CENTRAL DIVISION AGRICULTURE SHOW -?The 2014 Central Division Agriculture Show will take place from September 10 to 12 at Syria Park in Nausori.
6?CENTRAL DIVISION FARMERS AWARDS ? CRITERIA FOR NOMINATIONS -?The Ministry of Agriculture is inviting farmers in the Central Division to send in their nominations for the 2014 Farmers Awards.
7?NEW COMPACTOR GARBAGE TRUCK FOR NASINU -?The donation of a new compactor garbage truck to the Nasinu Town Council (NTC) will go a long way in ensuring a cleaner and safer environment for the municipality.
1?AUTHORITIES WORK WITH UN ON SAFE RELEASE OF FIJIAN SOLDIERS
Local authorities are working closely with the United Nations for the safe release of 43 Fijian soldiers who were seized by rebels in Syria?s Golan Heights yesterday.
Speaking at a press conference this morning, Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander, Brigadier General Mosese Tikoitoga said they were confident of negotiation talks now underway.
?The UN which makes up the crisis negotiating management team are continuing to negotiate on our behalf and we have been assured that our troops are safe and well,? Brigadier General Tikoitoga said.
?We have been assured that our troops were returned to position 27 which is the Fijian headquarters in Al Qunaytirah.?
The Commander added they were doing their best to ensure the safety of the 43 Fijian soldiers.
?The UN HQ through the commanding officer and the force commander are negotiating with the liaison officers on the safe release of the men,? Brigadier General Tikoitoga said.
?I urge all Fijians to continue to pray for our troops.?
Also present at the press conference was the 1st Commanding Officer for the Fiji Contingent to Golan Heights, Lieutenant Colonel Sitiveni Qiliho.
2?SENIOR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS FAREWELL CREW OF HOSPITAL SHIP
Senior government officials gathered at the Kings Wharf in Suva this morning to farewell the crew and officers of the Chinese People?s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Hospital Ship PEACE ARK.
Minister for Defence, National Security and Immigration Joketani Cokanasiga, Commissioner of Police Bernadus Groenewald and Brigadier Mohammed Aziz were joined by the Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, His Excellency Huang Yong at the farewell ceremony.
East Fleet Deputy Commander, Rear Admiral Shen Hao, said this visit strengthened bilateral relations between Fiji and China.
?Through our good will visit and medical services offered to Fijians, the friendly co-operation between the two military forces will definitely be consolidated,? Rear Admiral Shen Hao said.
Minister Cokanasiga acknowledged the humanitarian services provided by the hospital ship and thanked Rear Admiral Shen for the continuous support towards Fijian people.
During its one week stop over the hospital ship treated 8286 patients. This included 5898, who were treated as outpatients, 34 health check ups, 68 surgeries and 37 in-patients.
Medical staff from the ship were attached at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital, Senior Citizens Home and the Valelevu Health Centre to provide relevant medical services.
3?HEALTH MINISTER WELCOMES WHO REGIONAL DIRECTOR
The World Health Organisation (WHO) regional director, Western Pacific Region Dr Shin Young Soo was officially welcomed by the Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma to the Labasa Hospital earlier this morning.
Dr Sharma said it was the first time Dr Soo visited the North and it was an honor to have him because he also witnessed the 26 WHO funded Pacific Open Health Learning Network Centre?s in Fiji.
“POHLN is a partnership between WHO and our ministry and it has enabled health workers to provide quality health services for the people of Fiji,” the Health Minister said.
Dr Soo said the condition of health services in the North showed the commitment of the health staff and ministry.
“It is good, quality is good and devoted staff, the Health Ministry has improved compared to last few years and we would like to see more close relationships,” he said.
4?WHO REGIONAL DIRECTOR TO ASSESS HEALTH SERVICES
The World Health Organization regional director from the Western Pacific Regional Office, Dr Shin Yong Soo is on a visit of Fiji inspecting health facilities and the effectiveness of services provided by the health sector.
Dr Soo met with the Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma ?and the senior executives of the Health Ministry at a high level meeting ?at the Ministry Headquarters to discuss issues pertaining to Public Health Concerns such as National Health Insurance, Communicable and Non Communicable Diseases.
Dr Soo will visit the Labasa Hospital, Nasea Health Centre, Seaqaqa and Nabalebale Nursing Stations and Savusavu Hospital.
The regional director acknowledged the improvements made in the Fiji?s health service delivery because ?a lot of hard work was done to achieve this status.
Fiji?s Healthcare system has made remarkable progress in the last six years under the able leadership Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma in the areas of increased manpower, infrastructure developments and technology upgrade ?with the vision of wellness and outreach to the maritime and rural areas.
?With the many challenges that came our way, we have managed to accomplish the goals set to an affordable, equitable and accessible health service delivery with the aim to maximise the benefits to the people,? Dr Sharma said.
As the health sector continues with the development programmes and the progressive measures put in place, WHO has pledged its support to further strengthen its commitment to assist Fiji enhance the health care delivery system.
5?CENTRAL DIVISION AGRICULTURE SHOW
The 2014 Central Division Agriculture Show will take place from?September 10 to 12?at Syria Park in Nausori.
The theme for this year?s show is ?Sustainable Family Farming for Food, Nutrition and Livelihood Security? and it will include:
? ??????????Displays to showcase fish, forestry, crops and livestock cultivated or bred in Fiji and will involve other key stakeholders in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors;
? ??????????Activities with the Ministry for Education including a schools oratory contest, school garden competitions and;
? ??????????A Farmers Awards on?Thursday 11th September from 12noon.
The Central Division Agriculture Show will attract farmers and relevant stakeholders from as far as Serua, Namosi, Suva, Nausori, Rewa, Naitasiri and Tailevu.
Minister for Agriculture Inia Seruiratu had launched the Agriculture Show 2014 on?July 29?this year to be held at divisional levels rather than at national level as practiced in the past four years.
Holding the shows at divisional level is an initiative by the ministry as a means of maximising all efforts to ensure that people, especially those living in the rural areas have the opportunity to witness the agriculture shows at a locality or town close to them.
The Northern Division Agriculture Show was held from July 30-31 and 1 August, 2014 in Labasa while the Western Division Agriculture Show was held from August 4-9 in conjunction with the Ba Platinum Carnival. The Eastern Division Show is yet to be confirmed.
6?CENTRAL DIVISION FARMERS AWARDS ? CRITERIA FOR NOMINATIONS
The Ministry of Agriculture is inviting farmers in the Central Division to send in their nominations for the 2014 Farmers Awards.
The awards is being held in conjunction with the Central Division Agriculture Show scheduled for?September 10 to 12.
Principal Agriculture Officer (PAO) Tepola Seniloli said the Farmers Awards would be held on?Thursday, September 11 from 12noon?at Syria Park.
She said crop and livestock farmers were this year being asked to nominate themselves against the criteria set up by the ministry.
The Ministry of Agriculture has set up the criteria to identify best farmers of 13 crops, which include rice, dalo, yaqona, ginger, yams, vegetables, coconut, banana, vanilla, pineapple, cocoa, floriculture and ruruka and livestock farmers of nine different commodities including dairy, beef, sheep, goat, apiculture, broiler, layer, duck and pig.
The common criteria for commodities to be considered by asssessors and the panel of judges are:
? The farmer should be farming for the past three years;
? The farmer should have at least a farm plan or a simple business plan;
? The farmer should maintain good farm records;
? Ability to maximise use of assistance provided, whether it is Government or any other donor agencies;
? The candidate?s contribution to the community around him or her;
? Farmers applying must submit a brief outline on why he/she is the most suitable candidate vying for the respective commodity award.
Interested candidates vying for the various commodity awards should submit the required documents and information through the mail box or hand deliver to the Principal Agricultural Officer [Central], P.O.BOX 44, Ratu Cakobau House, Nausori or to the nearest Agriculture Station within their locality. They can also call on?3550175/3477415/3477066?for further information.
The second component of the awards that will be assessed by the ministry will include the Central Division Farmer of the Year, Young Farmer of the Year, Best Women Crop and Livestock Farmers, Best Organic Farmer, Best Backyard Farmer, and Best Greenhouse Farmer and Best School Garden.
7?NEW COMPACTOR GARBAGE TRUCK FOR NASINU
The donation of a new compactor garbage truck to the Nasinu Town Council (NTC) will go a long way in ensuring a cleaner and safer environment for the municipality.
While receiving the donation from the Ambassador of Japan, Takuji Hanatani this week, Ministry of Local Government deputy secretary Josese Rakuita said the machine would contribute immensely to improving Nasinu?s sanitary environment.
The donation of the truck as well as its garage to the town council amounted to about $200,000 and was funded under Japan?s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) Programme.
?With the new compactor garbage truck, council workers will be able to quickly and properly dispose of kitchen waste. It is expected to generate efficiency gains as more garbage is carried on fewer trips to the Naboro landfill, which is located 29 km away from Nasinu,? Mr Rakuita said.
?The new compactor truck is beneficial to maintain a clean environment as waste will be largely enclosed and very little escapes when the truck is in motion. It is OHS-compliant and labour-friendly with automated features, thus reducing the risk of injury to workmen and lessening their exposure to bacteria and toxic substances that may cause diseases.?
Nasinu special administrator Mosese Kama said with a growing population, the town faced problems with waste disposal.
?Nasinu is the most populous of all the municipalities in Fiji with more than 87,000 people. Based on such challenges, the existing open tip trucks have become insufficient prompting the council to hire additional trucks, which is an added financial burden to us,? Mr Kama said.
?The open tip trucks? inability to provide sufficient cover for the collected rubbish being carted is also unhygienic, risking the health of the garbage collection workers and the general public.
?This gift from Japan is indeed timely and will certainly assist the council in meeting its obligation of improving sanitary environment here.?
Town council engineering/planning manager Mosese Yavalanavanua said the first of its kind compactor garbage truck for the council, was a big relief for the garbage collectors.
?No manual lifting is required so it will put less strain on the workers. It is also sustainable. We only had three open tip trucks before and we needed to hire other trucks from outside, which would cost us more than $400,000 for hire and maintenance. This donation is ?cost effective for us,? Mr Yavalanavanua said.