DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 29/07/15 5:00PM

 

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  1. PM WISHES VANUATU ON THEIR NATIONAL DAY- The Prime Minister, Hon. Voreqe Bainimarama has extended his well wishes to his Vanuatu counterpart, Hon. Meltek Sato Kilman Livtuvanu on the celebration of their National Day and 35th Anniversary of Independence.
  2. GRANT RECIPIENTS THANK GOVERNMENT- More than 400 recipients under the Micro and Small Business grant scheme today commended government for their cheques of $1000 which was handed to them by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.
  3. SECOND JOINT WORKING GROUP MEETING AIMS TO STRENGTHEN HEALTH SERVICE DELIVERY- The Second Joint Working Group meeting between the Ministry of Health & Medical Services and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare India convened today in Suva at the Grand Pacific Hotel.
  4. LAUTOKA DECLARED SMOKE-FREE- The Sugar City of Lautoka was today declared a smoke free zone by the Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Hon. Veena Bhatnagar.
  5. PACIFIC SPECIAL GAMES LIKELY IN 2017- Fiji and Samoa have been urged to work towards hosting the inaugural Pacific Games in the Pacific by the Director Operations at the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Mr Simon Koh.

 

  1. NAVOSAI RESIDENTS RAISE CONCERNS AT NDP CONSULTATIONS- The residents of Navosai in Narere have requested for proper access to basic amenities such as health, water and transportation.
  2. MODERNIZING AGRICULTURE THROUGH STRENGTHENED PARTNERSHIPS- Efforts to maximize public private partnership and work towards the modernization of Fiji’s agriculture sector culminated this week with the signing of agreements between the Ministry of Agriculture and six (6) companies.

 

  1. PM WISHES VANUATU ON THEIR NATIONAL DAY

The Prime Minister, Hon. Voreqe Bainimarama has extended his well wishes to his Vanuatu counterpart, Hon. Meltek Sato Kilman Livtuvanu on the celebration of their National Day and 35th Anniversary of Independence.

Prime Minister Bainimarama lauded the strong spirit of the people of Vanuatu while commiserating with the challenges faced by the country during the wake of Cyclone Pam.

“We salute the Ni-Vanuatu for their courage and resilience and assure them that Fiji will always be willing to come to their assistance in times of crisis as we are not merely neighbours but brothers and sisters in the great Melanesian family,” PM Bainimarama said.

“Fiji was privileged to be part of the relief effort and the personal bonds that were forged between members of the Fijian contingent and the people of Vanuatu have strengthened our relationship in a very special way.”

Vanuatu and Fiji have shared a long and uniquely warm bilateral relationship where both countries have worked together closely on various capacities of common interest at a regional and global level.

Hon. Bainimarama said Fiji plans to partner with Vanuatu in the lead-up to the World Climate Summit in Paris in November where both countries intend to lead the campaign for decisive global action to tackle the issue of climate change.

“We need the industrial nations to sign up to drastic cuts in carbon emissions if we are to halt the global warming that is producing the rise in sea levels and extreme weather events such as the one that devastated your nation in March,” PM Bainimarama said.

“We celebrate the friendship between our nations and on this most special of days, every Fijian joins me in wishing you and the people of Vanuatu a very happy anniversary.”

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  1. GRANT RECIPIENTS THANK GOVERNMENT

More than 400 recipients under the Micro and Small Business grant scheme today commended government for their cheques of $1000 which was handed to them by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

 

Nashina Nisha, ?a farmer for the past 30 years said she will re-invest the assistance that she received tin her yaqona farming business.

 

“I am looking at expanding my yaqona business and I have been greatly encouraged by the government through this assistance,” Mrs Nisha said.

 

Mrs Nisha highlighted that she currently has 2000 yaqona plants ready for harvest and she would invest more into her farming with the grant given.

 

Sharing similar sentiments was Tavuki villager, Adrea Jone Alalimu.

 

“I am grateful to government for assisting small business people like myself,” Mr Alalimu said.

 

Mr Alalimu encouraged the recipients to work hard and to invest into their business wisely.

 

Similarly, Rajesh Ram of Wairiki said that previously he would face problems with purchasing farming materials.

 

“I plant yaqona, vegetables and dalo and sometimes the other items that I purchase for my farm are too expensive so I am indeed grateful for this grant,” Mr Ram said.

 

More than 2000 people in the island of Taveuni is expected to be supported indirectly as the 411 recipients work on their business.

 

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  1. SECOND JOINT WORKING GROUP MEETING AIMS TO STRENGTHEN HEALTH SERVICE DELIVERY

The Second Joint Working Group meeting between the Ministry of Health & Medical Services and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare India convened today in Suva at the Grand Pacific Hotel.

A delegation from the Government of India led by the Joint Secretary for Health & Family Welfare Ms Dharitri Panda was welcomed to Fiji by Acting Hon. Minister for Health & Medical Services Mr Jioji Konrote.

Mr Konrote said, “The meeting marks another milestone in our country’s bilateral relations as our officials meet once again to evaluate and deliberate on mutual interests which are covered in the Memorandum of Agreement signed in 2005”.

“Today’s meeting is timely as it will give us an opportunity to reflect on the progress and identify those areas that require further assistance, support and expertise. This meeting will also see the collative efforts and to plot the best way forward for Fiji”.

The meeting was an opportunity to exchange ideas, collaborate and deliberate on issues in health, and explore how India can assist Fiji in terms of further improving and strengthening health service delivery.

Some areas for discussion include pharmaceutical issues, training, clinical services and development.

The Joint Secretary for Health & Family Welfare India, Ms Dharitri Panda said that this meeting will also progress and follow up on the various actions that have been taken since the agreement and to establish new areas of cooperation in the field of health and medicine.

The Acting Hon. Minister for Health & Medical Services Mr Jioji Konrote thanked the Indian delegation for their support and assistance as the outcome will benefit all Fijians in terms of health service delivery.

The First Joint Working Group Meeting was held in 2010.

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  1. LAUTOKA DECLARED SMOKE-FREE

The Sugar City of Lautoka was today declared a smoke free zone by the Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Hon. Veena Bhatnagar.

In declaring the City smoke free, Hon. Bhatnagar said the Ministry was grateful to the Lautoka City council which partnered with the Ministry of the Health in trying to promote healthy living.

“It is a great matter of concern to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services because if young people start smoking at a very young age, chances are that they will not be able to quit or give up smoking easily due to the onset of addiction to nicotine increasing the risk of smoking-related diseases and eventual death,” she said.

“Government remains committed to improving the lives of our people, and the ministry has established Smoking Cessation Training for medical staff through NCD toolkit trainings and Packet of Essential Non-Communicable Diseases (PEN) trainings and I am proud that the Lautoka City Council has taken this challenge in launching initiatives in tobacco control efforts to achieve a tobacco free status for the City.”

Lautoka City council chief executive officer Mr Jone Nakauvadra says the council will strictly monitor non ? smoking areas which include the bus stand, market, restaurants, sporting facilities and the streets within the city.

“We can and should get together to create more awareness about the dangers of smoking,” Mr Nakauvadra said.

Over the years, seven villages have been declared Smoke free with Cuvu Village in Nadroga being the latest to be declared while 42 villages have declared Tobacco Free community Halls.

The city of Lautoka joins Suva and Nadi in the banning of smoking in public places.

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  1. PACIFIC SPECIAL GAMES LIKELY IN 2017

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Fiji and Samoa have been urged to work towards hosting the inaugural Pacific Games in the Pacific by the Director Operations at the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Mr Simon Koh.

 

“It will be good to have a Pacific Special Games in Fiji as it is the hub of the Pacific,” Mr Koh said.

 

“However, Samoa is lobbying to host the first ever Games for people with special needs.”

 

“This will be good omen for Pacific nations and help promote care and inclusiveness for people with special needs in other island nations,” Mr Koh said.

 

Assistant Minister for Youth Hon. Iliesa Delana said that his Ministry would firstly meet with the Fiji National Sports Commission and discuss securing a permanent office for Special Olympics Fiji.”

 

“We can then pursue further, plans to host such events in Fiji since we need to secure sponsorship and logistics for such events since this event will involve people with special needs,” Hon. Delana said.

 

“However, it will be good for the nation and will assist in the promotion of inclusive sports in Fiji and the region.”

 

Meanwhile, the Fiji team is performing well in Los Angeles and two of Fiji’s athletes have both won their preliminary 400metre races on Sunday and will proceed to the finals later this week.

 

Fiji is also expected to participate this afternoon ?in the 4 x 100m relay.

 

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  1. NAVOSAI RESIDENTS RAISE CONCERNS AT NDP CONSULTATIONS

The residents of Navosai in Narere have requested for proper access to basic amenities such as health, water and transportation.

These concerns were raised at the National Development Plan (NDP) consultations last night.

Retired nurse, Mereani Yaranamua said her main concern was for Government to have a long-term plan on water access to residents in her community.

“My main concern is proper water supply for my area. There have been water shortages in the past few months. This is a good initiative by Government to reach out to the people and they should do that more often to find out what the people want,” Ms Yaranamua said.

The sixty-two year old grandmother also added that street lights are another issue which the town councils need to maintain.

“This is a highly populated area with lot of settlements and at night the street lights are not working. These are basic services that need to be maintained and properly monitored by authorities and I want the Government to put in place plans for proper management of towns and cities.”

Navosai Methodist Church pastor, Josese Muriwaqa said populated areas such as Valelevu and Makoi needed bigger health centers.

“The plan for the next five years should be to build hospitals for these areas because of the population. Residents would not have to travel to Suva and it will cater for services more efficiently,” Mr Muriwaqa said.

The forty-nine year old priest added that road upgrade is another issue that the residents wanted to raise with the NDP team.

“We are thankful to Government for the current road upgrades but priority should be given to certain areas that need more attention.? If town councils handle road upgrade projects for their area then it will better serve the community.”

Ministry of Finance Senior Economic Planning Officer, Mitieli Cama said this week is the last week of NDP consultations for the Central Division and residents are urged to attend consultations in their areas.

“We are left with Nadawa and nearby areas, Lagilagi and Jittu settlement, Nasole and Tutaleva settlement for this week,” Mr Cama said.

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  1. MODERNIZING AGRICULTURE THROUGH STRENGTHENED PARTNERSHIPS

Efforts to maximize public private partnership and work towards the modernization of Fiji’s agriculture sector culminated this week with the signing of agreements between the Ministry of Agriculture and six (6) companies.

Acting Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Mr Uraia Waibuta said that the agreements were signed with tender companies who are going to be supporting the Ministry’s Agro input subsidy program, Farm Mechanization program and the Rice Revitalization program to further enhance farmers’ livelihoods.

The stakeholders included Carptrac, Asco Motors, South Pacific Fertilizers, Ag Chem and Basic Industries.

Mr. Waibuta expressed his appreciation to the continuous support provided by the stakeholders and assured them that assistance will benefit the rural communities especially farmers because that aligns with the Ministry’s vision.

“We all understand the broad goals of the Ministry at this point in time that is to modernize the agriculture sector.

“As part of the modernization plan, technology is required, so gone are the days of using digging fork and cane knives and we need to bring in improved technology in terms of structures and machines and we have to bear in mind that 80% of our producers are smallholders farmers.”

Mr Waibuta said the Ministry is moving towards obtaining new machines that is affordable to the rural farmers.

“We want to get fertilizers as it is important to crop and livestock then again the affordability of the farmers is the bottom line and to which we all understand,” he added.

For the livestock sector, he said it is definitely the feed which is always a challenging area and commended Pacific Feeds for being able to facilitate this process.

The stakeholders are expected to supply their tendered items between August to September this year.

The Swarm dozer will be supplied by Carptrac, Farm Mechanization from Asco Motors and Agro input subsidy from South Pacific Fertilizers, Ag Chem, Pacific Feeds and Basic Industries.

Press Release