FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 22/07/15 5:00PM

 

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  1. FIJI EMPHASIZES SUSTAINABILITY AT INTERNATIONAL SEABED AUTHORITY – The Fiji Delegation to the 21st Session of the International Seabed Authority, in its national statement at the Authority’s Assembly today, emphasized the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.

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  1. PUBLIC IN THE NORTH URGED TO SAVE WATER – The Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea is urging members of the public in the Northern Division to use water sparingly.

 

  1. MINISTER?S VISIT BRINGS RELIEF TO THE FIRE VICTIMS ?- The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has reached out to families in Suva who are trying to rebuild their lives following the horrific fire incident that occurred last week.
  2. EXPO TARGETS TO REACH OUT TO 600 WOMEN ARTISANS – The National Women?s Expo 2015 which will be held later in the year from the 14th to 16th of October aims to reach out to 600 women artisans in Fiji by providing them with marketing opportunities, says the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar.
  3. GOVERNMENT NEEDS MORE SUPPORT TO COMBAT NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES – There is a need for Non-governmental organisations and supporting health agencies to support Government in their efforts to combat the increase of Non-Communicable diseases and diabetes in the country.
  4. MINISTER VISITS THE HOSTEL FOR SPECIAL CHILDREN – Government?s commitment in empowering children with special needs was indicated today through the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar who recently visited the Harland Hostel in Suva.

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  1. FIJI EMPHASIZES SUSTAINABILITY AT INTERNATIONAL SEABED AUTHORITY?

 

The Fiji Delegation to the 21st Session of the International Seabed Authority, in its national statement at the Authority’s Assembly today, emphasized the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.

 

It called for the Authority to play its part faithfully, doing all it can to ensure that humanity’s call for “the future we want” is realized.

 

The Fiji statement drew the Assembly’s attention to the United Nations Summit to be held in New York in September at which it is expected the universal provisions of the Sustainable Development Goal 14 will be adopted.

 

The goal’s provisions will go to the heart of the responsibilities of the International Seabed Authority, as they have been carefully designed by the international community to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.”

 

The Fiji delegation also drew the Assembly’s attention to the forthcoming work by the international community to negotiate a new implementing agreement to govern biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction.

 

The Fiji statement said it was inevitable that the Authority would have an important role to play in this arena and welcomed the fact that the Authority was now starting to collect marine genetic baseline data.

 

The Fiji statement underlined the importance of enhancing capacity-building opportunities for developing countries in the field of sustainable management of deep sea resources. Further emphasis was given to an increase in scientific knowledge, the development of research capacity and the transfer of marine technology in order to improve ocean health and enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries.

 

Fiji thanked the Assembly for the Authority’s agreement to enter a memorandum of understanding with the Pacific Community to help increase inter-agency consultation and cooperation.

 

The Fiji statement also thanked the Secretariat of the Pacific Community for the technical assistance received from SPC’s Deep Sea Minerals project funded by the European Union.

 

The Fiji delegation to the Authority’s 21st Session is led by Ambassador Peter Thomson, who has been elected as the President of the Council of the 21st Session. Other members of the Fiji delegation are Director of Mineral Resources Malakai Finau, Commander of the Fiji Navy John Fox, Director of UN Treaties Bureau Setaita Tupua-Kalou, and Dr Russell Howorth of the Authority’s Legal & Technical Commission.
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  1. PUBLIC IN THE NORTH URGED TO SAVE WATER

The Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea is urging members of the public in the Northern Division to use water sparingly.

This follows?a briefing by Water Authority of Fiji Northern Division Regional Manager Romulusi Mataitoga to Mr Vocea regarding receding water levels in the Macuata Province.

Mr Mataitoga said that reports indicated that only Macuata is experiencing the receding of water levels while Bua and Cakaudrove recorded healthy levels.

?Water level is receding daily from the main sources of water supply in Labasa such as the Nasealevu and Navau main sources and during its peak times the Nasealevu gravity source flows around an average of 21.5 mega litres per day with Navau recording 7.5 mega litres. Current measures by our water resource team in Nasealevu show that discharging is around 12.7 mega litres with Nabavu now recording discharges at? 4.6 mega litres,? Mr Mataitoga said.

?We are entering the critical danger zone, and we need to create awareness, we need to preserve water and use it wisely?.

Mr Mataitoga said the Taganikula water source in Wainikoro is also diminishing and including small gravity sources such as Nasalasala,Vunika and Nasarava.

Commissioner Vocea said awareness is already taking place in the Northern Division for the general public to use water wisely.

?We are requesting the members of the public to start using water wisely,? Mr Vocea added.

Meanwhile around 613,000 litres of water has been delivered around the Macuata Province to 113 villages and settlements who are currently facing water problems.

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  1. MINISTER?S VISIT BRINGS RELIEF TO THE FIRE VICTIMS

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The Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation has reached out to families in Suva who are trying to rebuild their lives following the horrific fire incident that occurred last week.

 

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar and the Permanent Secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta visited the families in Howell Road this morning and looked at ways of providing assistance to them.

 

The family conveyed that they are in dire need of clothes and food supply.? Minister Akbar revisited the family this afternoon providing them with a proper tent, mattresses, pillows, blankets, clothes, cooking stove and utensils. The Ministry has also liaised with the Nadi Rotary Club and RC Manubhai to organise similar assistance to be provided to the affected families.

 

Minister Akbar said the Ministry will go out of its way to assist these families in rebuilding their lives. The Women?s Minister also added that through a partnership with relevant stakeholders, the Ministry will look at ways to further assist these families.

 

The Ministry is also calling on potential donors to come forward and provide support in whichever way they can to help these families.

 

68 year old Shiu Mati who has lived in Howell Road for more than 10 years is one of the six families who was affected by the fire. Ms Mati has thanked the Fijian Government for its swift response to address the plight of her family.

 

?We are truly grateful to Minister Akbar for the care and concern that she has shown towards the welfare of our families. After our house burnt down, we had been living in a tent and and the Minister?s visit here today has shown that we are not alone.

 

?We will work together with the Ministry to regain what we have lost and we have our faith in this government which has proven to be truly committed to helping the underprivileged people,? Ms Mati said.

 

Similarly, the Ministry also assisted 31 year old Mereseini Veqali through the Fire Victims Relief Assistance grant.

 

?I have seven members in my family and we moved into Howell road, two months ago.? I was at work when the fire started and we couldn?t save anything.? Currently we are living at one of our church member?s house.? We are appreciative of government?s assistance to help us meet our basic needs of survival,? Ms Veqali said.

 

Meanwhile, National Fire Authority continues with its investigations to determine the cause of the fire.

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  1. EXPO TARGETS TO REACH OUT TO 600 WOMEN ARTISANS

The National Women?s Expo 2015 which will be held later in the year from the 14th to 16th of October aims to reach out to 600 women artisans in Fiji by providing them with marketing opportunities, says the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar.

Minister Akbar revealed this while officially opening the two days craft show for the central division women held this morning at the Suva Foreshore Carpark.

More than 500 women from the provinces of Naitasiri, Serua, Tailevu, Namosi, Navua and Suva-Nausori have displayed their traditional handicrafts, homemade items and processed food items. The divisional craft shows are staged as build up events to the National Women?s Expo 2015.

The Minister for Women highlighted the importance of the event theme, ?Connecting Women to the Markets, Making it Happen.?

?Today?s? event marks the 9th Divisional Craft Show that has been organized throughout the divisions, districts and provinces.? A total of 1,770 women from 440 women?s groups have so far participated in this year?s Divisional Craft Shows. So far 409 women have been identified to participate in the National Women?s Expo in October 2015. These Women?s? Groups here have met the quality assessment criteria to qualify for the Fijian Made Product Brand.

?Connecting Women to markets will only eventuate when we ensure that products made by rural women artisans are of high quality, of sufficient quantity to meet the demands of new and existing markets. The Ministry ensures that stringent processes are in place so that quality food items and crafts will meet market demands,? Minister Akbar elaborated.

The two days craft show will determine the winners for the central division who will be represented at the Expo.

?We challenge you to upgrade the quality of your products by focusing on creativity, design and value adding. The usefulness of the products is another important factor and we also take into account the practical use of the products you sell. After carefully scrutinizing your displayed products, the expert assessors from partner agencies (Fiji Arts Council and Ministry for Health) will recommend the names of women groups and individuals who deserve to participate in this year?s National Women?s Expo,? Minister Akbar explained.

Mrs Muneshwari Chand, president of Naitata Lakshmi Women?s Club from Navua thanked the Ministry for providing them with this marketing opportunity.

?We have displayed home made products, like ladies handbags, pillow cases and Indian sweets. We are confident that our club will be selected for the Expo. We are excited and look forward for similar events, apart from earning money, we are able to network with other women and share our skills. Our club has earned $100 in less than an hour, we hope to sell all our products at this show,? Mrs Chand said.

Speaking on behalf of women from Serua province, their representative, Mrs Veniana Anthony described the craft show as a great platform to promote the talents of rural women.

?There are 70 women from Serua who are participating in this show. We have displayed a wide range of products, such as handicrafts, soyer sauce, jams, seaweed products, pickles and food. Such events enable women to develop self-confidence and recognize their capabilities to become financially independent.

?We are grateful to the Ministry for organising our transport and accommodation for two days. Events of this calibre demonstrate the Fijian government?s commitment to women empowerment at national level,? Mrs Anthony said.

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  1. GOVERNMENT NEEDS MORE SUPPORT TO COMBAT NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES

There is a need for Non-governmental organisations and supporting health agencies to support Government in their efforts to combat the increase of Non-Communicable diseases and diabetes in the country.

These were the comments by the Minister for Health and Medical Services Jone Usamate while opening the Diabetes, Non-Communicable diseases workshop held at Novotel hotel in Suva today.

?As far as diabetes and NCDs are concerned, we all know where we are: in a drastic state indeed. We also know where we want to be. This leaves us to determine how we will get there,? Minister Usamate said.

?While the Fijian Government, through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, is doing its best to tackle this overwhelming problem, it has become evident that the Government cannot do it alone.?

Minister Usamate adds that although faced with unprecedented problem of enormous proportions with Diabetes and other NCDs reaching epidemic levels, we should now move away from the problem-focused mind-set and move towards being solution oriented.

?This means that we should all get together to discover options. We need novel ideas to tackle our issues, but we must carry this out in an orderly manner.?

Diabetes chairman Dr Wahid Khan sharing similar sentiments highlighted the need for various organisations to have an integrated approach in combating these lifestyle diseases.

?We can only combat NCDs? and diabetes in Fiji, if people have the responsibility to change their lifestyle and be responsible with their own health,? Dr Khan said.

The one day workshop will also feature the formulation of a guideline to combat NCDs? in the country on a more comprehensive approach.

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  1. MINISTER VISITS THE HOSTEL FOR SPECIAL CHILDREN

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Government?s commitment in empowering children with special needs was indicated today through the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar who recently visited the Harland Hostel in Suva. The Hostel looks after 30 children who have hearing and speech impairment.

 

While visiting the Hostel earlier this week, Minister Akbar assured these children that their wellbeing is of great importance to her Ministry.

 

?Each one of you hold a special place in my heart, we will see how best we can look after you and this is my first visit to your hostel and definitely not the last. Each one of you here are special and you have the ability to reach your maximum potential.

 

?Don?t ever think that you are any different from other children, you are like my children. Please attend your classes regularly, listen to your teachers and respect your elders. We are ready to support you in achieving your goals. We will find the best way forward in providing you with opportunities to help you prosper in your lives,? Minister Akbar said.

 

Harland Hostel Manager, Ms Tema Toaisi thanked the Fijian Government for its commitment to the development of children with special needs.

 

?We have 30 children at the Hostel, most of them can?t speak and are deaf. Some attend the Gospel School for the deaf and while others attend Gospel Secondary School. The eldest one is 23 years old and she attends the vocational training school.

 

?The Hostel is in its 15th year of operation with the vision to assist the children with special needs. Some of the children don?t have families while others have families who live in rural and remote areas of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. At the hostel, the children are also provided with educational programs to help them excel in their studies and personal development,? Ms Toaisi said.

 

The Hostel looks forward to strengthened collaboration with the Ministry to address some of the challenges faced.

 

?We hope to renovate the facilities and also extend the hostel so we can have a spacious place for our children. We are positive that through the Minister?s visit to the hostel, we will be able to work together with the social welfare ministry to look into the welfare of these children,? Ms Toaisi said.

 

Minister Akbar also visited the Homes of Hope in Wailoku (Suva) and Dilkusha Girls Home in Nausori last week and assured these Homes of her Ministry?s continued commitment to the development of children in Residential Care Homes.

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