- SAFE DRINKING WATER FOR WAILEVU COMMUNITY – More than 200 homes in Wailevu East, Cakaudrove are expected to now have access to safe drinking water.
- NEED FOR COASTAL FISHERIES MANAGEMENT – Proper management and continued advocacy of our coastal fisheries resources is important for food security, income generation and employment opportunities.
- MINISTRY AND UNICEF LAUNCH THE “CHILD SENSITIVE SOCIAL PROTECTION REPORT” – A new report has found that Fiji is at forefront in the Pacific with social protection programmes, in particular the Care and Protection allowance that reaches out to at least 5,000 vulnerable children throughout Fiji.
- RECIPIENTS APPLAUD THE GOVERNMENT’S “WELFARE PROGRAMS” – The recipients of the Care and Protection Program (C&P) have lauded the Fijian Government for its commitment to reach out and assist the less fortunate families in Fiji.
- UNICEF COMMENDS FIJIAN GOVERNMENT FOR ITS COMMITMENT TO CHILD PROTECTION – The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has commended the Fijian Government for its continued commitment to advance children’s rights and development in Fiji. This was revealed at the official launching of the Child Sensitive Social Protection in Fiji: Assessment of the Care and Protection Allowance Report.”
- WEST AGRICULTURE SHOW – ONE STOP SHOP FOR INFORMATION – Farmers and the general public are encouraged to take advantage of the services provided by staff at this year’s West Agriculture Park in Tavua.
- SAFE DRINKING WATER FOR WAILEVU COMMUNITY
More than 200 homes in Wailevu East, Cakaudrove are expected to now have access to safe drinking water.
This follows a joint partnership between the Ministry of Health and the Rotary Club in Savusavu for a Safe Water Station project.
Speaking at the launch, Minister for Health and Medical Services, Hon. Jone Usamate said that the project is expected to be completed in early October.
“I’m impressed and with full gratitude would like to thank the Rotary Club Savusavu for their initiative,” Mr Usamate said.
Mr Usamate said it was good to know that such groups were taking care of the needs and wants of the people of Savusavu.
“On behalf of the government and those who will use this water project we are thankful for this project as such grants do not come easily. This project will also assist us with health issues related to water.”
Minister Usamate added that government remains committed to providing people with good and safe drinking water.
He said this is a pilot project and the water stations will be delivered to different villages in the Wailevu East coast area whereby the villages will be trained and monitored by the rotary clubs members and the health inspectors including nurses in each area.
Meanwhile Rotary Savusavu project engineer, Jeff Mather said that 36 stations have already been placed in Vunivesi with 27 in Levuka also in the Wailevu East area.
“The project is a standalone self-contained filtration system for homes and the filters last indefinitely with a back washing procedure,” Mr Mather said.
Mr Mather highlighted that each system is operated by a family and is able to store 15 litres of water.
“We understand that one of government’s priority is the provision of clean safe drinking water for all Fijians and we are happy to be able to work together with the Ministry on this project,” Mr Mather added.
- NEED FOR COASTAL FISHERIES MANAGEMENT
Proper management and continued advocacy of our coastal fisheries resources is important for food security, income generation and employment opportunities.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Fisheries and Forests, Hon. Osea Naiqamu while opening the 2015 Fiji’s Coastal Fisheries and Invertebrate Resources – Poor Data Methods Workshop at the USP-ICT centre today.
The two-day workshop gathered fisheries scientists and coral reef fisheries experts from around Fiji and the region to discuss and share cost effective ways of collating and analysing fisheries data to improve coastal fisheries management in Fiji.
The Minister said that the department would be setting up a new Coastal Fisheries Management Division operational in the next three to five years.
“This is to improve data collection and transform the department’s licensing, monitoring, control and surveillance and put in place proper enforcement of fisheries laws and regulations for sustainable benefits of coastal fisheries into the future,” Mr Naiqamu said.
He added that fisheries are renewable resources however if not managed properly, the level of depletion would worsen at an unsustainable rate and could hasten pace of extinction.
“Fijians on average consume approximately 35kg per capita of fish per year it is however projected to be much higher across any fishing villages and maritime island communities being estimated at 113kg per capita of fish consumption as confirmed by a survey by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community last year.”
Mr Naiqamu said that in recent years, land degradation, habitat destruction, increased pollution and unchecked exploitation of fisheries resources have become a major cause of serious decline in our coastal fisheries resources.
He added that the ministry would be stepping up efforts to improve the management of our coastal fisheries and invertebrate resources through investment in funding and manpower.
- MINISTRY AND UNICEF LAUNCH THE “CHILD SENSITIVE SOCIAL PROTECTION REPORT”
A new report has found that Fiji is at forefront in the Pacific with social protection programmes, in particular the Care and Protection allowance that reaches out to at least 5,000 vulnerable children throughout Fiji.
The “Child Sensitive Social Protection in Fiji: Assessment of the Care and Protection Allowance Report” was officially launched today by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Hon. Rosy Akbar.
Minister Akbar reiterated that child protection and welfare are at the core of the Fijian Government’s policies and programs.
“The Fijian Government continues to pledge its commitment to upholding the children’s rights, including the right to social protection. This commitment is enshrined in the 2013 constitution of Fiji, where article 37 states that “the State shall take reasonable measures to achieve the progressive realization of the right of every person to social security.
“Various social protection programs have been providing income security to poor families, vulnerable elderly, people with disabilities, and children in need. And we continue to strive toward a comprehensive social protection system,” Minister Akbar elaborated.
Minister Akbar said that the new report will enable the Ministry to make more informed decisions and increase its reach to underprivileged children.
“It is certainly useful for all of us to look in-depth into the program implementation and analyse what we did well, what challenges we face, and how we can realistically and effectively improve the social protection programs for children. More than that, this assessment also presents lessons learned and best practices for other countries who are considering to establish similar programs. Care and Protection Allowances intend to break the vicious cycle of poverty, allowing the children to be healthy, educated and more productive citizens”.
“Monthly food voucher program ensures that minimum level of nutrition is provided for the growth of the children. While cash transfer component assist families to meet other necessities such as transportation, access to health care, education, and housing, clothing and supplementary nutrition. Findings of the assessment show and this confirms international experiences with cash transfer, that the money has been used by beneficiary families as intended, and that it has significant impact in improving their lives. Through this kind of social protection schemes, we are investing in our future,” Minister Akbar reiterated.
While thanking the Fijian Government for its long-standing partnership and commitment to children, UNICEF Pacific Representative Dr Karen Allen said, “We are happy to see the development of Fiji’s long-standing social protection programmes. With its cash transfer schemes for the vulnerable population including poor families, vulnerable elderly and children, Fiji sets an example to other Pacific Island Countries. The Care and Protection Allowance, a targeted cash transfer programme specifically for children, is the first of its kind in the pacific.”
“We are also delighted to see that the Government of Fiji is continuously trying to develop and improve its social protection strategy, not only to extend coverage to more beneficiaries, but also to improve the efficacy of the schemes,” Dr Allen said.
The Assessment reported that children are more likely to be living in poverty compared to adults; while the national poverty rate is 30.6 per cent, the poverty rate among children is 35.3 per cent.
Care and Protection Allowance is a social protection scheme specifically targeted at assisting poor and vulnerable children through providing monthly cash allowances and the food vouchers.
The beneficiaries, including children living in single-headed households, children with elderly caregivers, children with disabilities and children in residential care homes.
- RECIPIENTS APPLAUD THE GOVERNMENT’S “WELFARE PROGRAMS”
The recipients of the Care and Protection Program (C&P) have lauded the Fijian Government for its commitment to reach out and assist the less fortunate families in Fiji.
Speaking at the launch of the new report “Child Sensitive Social Protection in Fiji: Assessment of the Care and Protection Allowance Report,” the C&P recipients thanked Government for its continued support towards the underprivileged children in Fiji.
Ms Niumai Wati Ravia, a widow from Lami said that C&P allowance helps her to look after her grandchildren.
“I am the only breadwinner for my two grandchildren aged 6years and 3 years. I have been receiving monthly allowances of $30 and the $50 food voucher that I receive also helps me to look after their needs. I had applied last year and I was very happy that the Department of Social Welfare has approved my application. The government and UNICEF should be acknowledged for conducting such research that will enable this sort of assistance to be extended to many more children in Fiji,” Ms Ravia said.
Similar sentiments were shared by 52 year old Marica Tinanitabua from Raiwasa.
“I have 3 children who are supported by C&P allowance and a monthly food voucher. My husband suffered from stoke and he is unable work so I am employed as a maid. I have been receiving Care and Protection Allowances for the last 3 years and I receive $110 cash allowances along with $50 food voucher very month. This helps me to support my children, prepare their school lunch and buy educational materials they need.”
“I thank the government for helping less fortunate families like us to ensure that our children are given the opportunity to access education and have a good future. Thank you to the government of the day for their continued assistance through various programs like free milk, free weetbix, and other similar initiatives,” Mrs Tinanitabua said.
In her opening address, Minister Akbar reiterated that the Fijian Government is spending over half a billion dollars in the education sector.
The provisions of free education, free bus fare, free text books, initiative are all indicative of the Fijian Government’s commitment to ensure that children of this country are provided with the opportunity to access and aspire for academic excellence.
Making social protection for children our priority will not only benefit the child but also the family as this will mitigate the effect of poverty on families and will strengthen family relationships, thus building stronger communities and greater nations,” Minister Akbar said.
- UNICEF COMMENDS FIJIAN GOVERNMENT FOR ITS COMMITMENT TO CHILD PROTECTION
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has commended the Fijian Government for its continued commitment to advance children’s rights and development in Fiji. This was revealed at the official launching of the Child Sensitive Social Protection in Fiji: Assessment of the Care and Protection Allowance Report.”
In her official address, UNICEF Pacific Representative Dr Karen Allen said that UNICEF is pleased with the partnership and commitment of the Fijian Government towards child empowerment in Fiji.
“In May 2015, Fiji was the host country for UNICEF Pacific’s High Level End-Violence-Against Children Conference, which was attended by 12 Small Pacific Island States, Papua New Guinea, and Ms Marta Santos Pais, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children. UNICEF is also currently working with the Ministry to implement the Child Helpline and to develop a national child protection policy.
Social protection is one of a child’s fundamental rights. Article 26 of the CRC recognizes a child’s right to social security and Article 27 addresses the right to an adequate standard of living recognising the primary responsibility of the child’s parent in this regard, and the role of the State to assist the child’s parents or caregivers to fulfil this right.
“I would like to remind us of the comments made by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in response to Fiji’s excellent State Party Report, in relation to standard of living. The Committee recognised the progress Fiji is making in ensuring social protection and I am pleased to acknowledge the commitment of the Government of Fiji to implement the concluding observations and recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and for including a budget allocation in its 2015 National Budget in this regard,” Dr Allen said.
She said that an active partnership with the Ministry and UNICEF had been providing extensive technical and financial support for strengthening the national child protection system since 2008.
“In the area of social protection, both our organisations hold firm the commitment to uphold the right of all children to adequate standard of living which guarantees to them the nutrition, care and education they need to become fulfilled and productive citizens. Social protection programmes such as the Care and Protection Allowance is one of the ways for the government to ensure the fulfilment of these rights.
We are happy to see the development of Fiji’s long-standing social protection programmes. With its cash transfer schemes for the vulnerable population including poor families, vulnerable elderly and children, Fiji sets an example to other Pacific Island Countries. The Care and Protection Allowance, a targeted cash transfer programme specifically for children, is the first of its kind in the pacific,” Dr Allen reiterated.
- WEST AGRICULTURE SHOW – ONE STOP SHOP FOR INFORMATION
Farmers and the general public are encouraged to take advantage of the services provided by staff at this year’s West Agriculture Park in Tavua.
The agriculture show is a one stop shop for sources of agricultural information and also offer amongst other services, free advicefor farmers on integrated farming system.
Agriculture Assistant from Nadarivatu, Viniana Nabitu said that farmers should use the integrated farming system to maximize profit for both crops and livestock farming.
The major attractions at the Tavua Show are the Farmers village, demonstrations by the Animal Health & Production staff and Research Divisions of the Ministry of Agriculture and the display of different farm machineries.
There are various drugs like Nilverm oral, Oxfendazole, Fidos Rinse, Malathion and dairy feed supplements which can be bought from the stalls.
As for crop farmers there are seeds of assorted vegetables such as chilies, eggplant, cowpea, pigeon pea and tomatoes with seedlings of grafted citrus which are being sold at $5.78 per plant.
Assorted varieties of guava, soursop, black sapote, Abiu, passionfruit, starapple, bullock heart (Ram phal), mulberry, cinnamon, cashew nut, sapodia and sweet mangosteen are sold at $1.32 per plant.
Farmers from Ba, Tavua and Lautoka have also brought their produce and are selling them at the Farmers Village tent.
A 69 year old farmer from Rarawai Ba, Jai Ram Khelawan has brought seedlings of pawpaw, tomatoes, red fire chilly and English cabbage and flowers to sell at the Show.
Mr Khelawan has applauded the initiative by the Ministry of Agriculture in bringing the Show to Tavua as well as organizing other Shows around the country, giving an opportunity to farmers to learn more about different techniques used in farming and sharing their experiences with other farmers.
Farmer and businessman, Sio Vumainabuke of Niu Source Fiji who was also at the show selling his produce said that one coconut is worth $50 as he is able to produces Virgin Coconut Oil, Coconut meal, Coconut butter, Coconut jam and charcoal.
Mr Vumainabuke also sells the coconut shell to the people in his village for jewelry making.
“So there is lot to learn and Shows like this are the opportune time for people to discover new things,” Vumainabuke said.
The West Agriculture Show is currently held at Garvey Park and ends tomorrow with the presentation of awards to farmers.