1. NEW SEAWALL OPENS IN TAILEVU COASTAL VILLAGE – The Kiuva sea wall project is an example of government’s commitment in addressing sea level rise and protecting villages along coastal areas.
2. HEALTH MINISTER CAUTIONS CONSUMERS ON FISH PURCHASING – The Ministry of Health is urging the public to exercise caution when purchasing fish by ensuring that adequate storage facilities are available.
3. GOVERNMENT ASSISTS IN COMPENSATION PAYOUT FOR INJURED WORKER – The Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment, Mr Jone Usamate has reminded employers and workers about their obligations under the labour laws and has encouraged them to be part of positive dialogue and good faith employment relations.
4. KALOKOLEVU VILLAGERS WELCOME ACCESS TO CLEAN DRINKING WATER – More than 270 villagers in Lami now have access to clean and safe drinking water through an ecological purification system (EPS), thanks to the partnership between the Department of Water and Sewerage, the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
5. AWARDS TO HIGHLIGHT SPORTING CONTRIBUTION TO FIJI – Another exciting Fiji Sports Awards will take place nextFriday 26th July 2013 when hundreds of sports administrators, sporting personalities, supporters and the general public will witness this spectacular annual event at the Fiji Sports Council facility, the Vodafone Arena.
1 NEW SEAWALL OPENS IN TAILEVU COASTAL VILLAGE
The Kiuva sea wall project is an example of government’s commitment in addressing sea level rise and protecting villages along coastal areas.
Those were the sentiments of the Minister for Rural and Maritime Development, Inia Seruiratu at the commissioning of the Kiuva village sea wall project which was funded through the Government of the People’s Republic of China Gratuitous Aid Programme.
“The rise in sea level is leading to coastal erosion. With the majority of villages and settlements in Viti Levu located along the coast, there is noticeable infiltration of the sea into the village compound during high tide,” Minister Seruiratu said.
“The Kiuva Sea Wall project is one such example to address the rise in the sea level rise and to protect the village surroundings.”
The minister also added that successive development plans by government have recognised the critical importance of managing the environment and natural resources, to ensure social and economic prosperity.
“As a developing nation with scarce resources and competing priorities and obligations, the government has preferred to seek foreign aid and assistance from development partners to finance environmental related projects like this one in Kiuva,” Minister Seruiratu said.
Commending the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the minister said the Fijian government had submitted its request through the Chinese Embassy seeking assistance for the construction of the 206 meter-long sea wall in 2009.
“The total cost of the project is $2.5 million and is a symbol of the strong cordial and lasting technical and bilateral cooperation between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Fiji,” Minister Seruiratu said.
“The Kiuva Sea Wall stands today not only as a landmark in itself but manifests engineering skills in having constructed a structure that would meet the challenges we all face in all other parts of the world and that is the rise in sea level.”
Reiterating the Chinese government’s commitment of enhancing bilateral cooperation and assisting Fiji’s economic and social development, Ambassador for the Government of the People’s Republic of China to Fiji, Mr Huang Yong said that he was pleased that the sea wall was now protecting villagers of Kiuva from high tides and heavy downfalls.
“The sea wall has withstood the test of many high tides and hurricanes and I would like to thank the local villagers for the facilitation and support provided during the implementation of the project.
The Kiuva sea wall project was constructed by the China Railway Fifth Group also included the construction of boulder groynes and stone pitching of village drains.
2 HEALTH MINISTER CAUTIONS CONSUMERS ON FISH PURCHASING
The Ministry of Health is urging the public to exercise caution when purchasing fish by ensuring that adequate storage facilities are available.
The Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma pointed out that consumers who often purchase fish that do not meet standard storage requirements can be vulnerable to food poisoning. He said that fish if not stored in ice or is not frozen can result in “food poisoning”.
Minister Sharma said that whilst the Municipal Health Authorities’ attempts to provide adequate fish markets, road side vendors often place consumers at risk by not providing adequate storage facilities.
“Environmental Health officers from Ministry of Health continue to assist in people by way of advice and enforcement. The public is requested to be cautious and to protect their health and that of their families by buying local produce which will not cause unnecessary health risk”, Minister Sharma said.
3 GOVERNMENT ASSISTS IN COMPENSATION PAYOUT FOR INJURED WORKER
The Minister for Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment, Mr Jone Usamate has reminded employers and workers about their obligations under the labour laws and has encouraged them to be part of positive dialogue and good faith employment relations.
The minister’s comments come after the Labour Ministry assisted a building construction employee with compensation payout after sustaining injuries during the course of his employment.
Mr Usamate said the worker would be receiving a compensation payout of $5,466.24 through monthly installments of $1000 from the employer until the amount is paid in full.
“Mr Suliasi Mavoa sustained injuries whilst piling blocks for house construction when a block fell on his left ankle while he was employed with a building and construction company,” Mr Usamate said.
“He lodged his complaint with the Workmen’s Compensation Service of the Ministry where his case was investigated and determined for compensation payout.”
The Minister commended Mr Mavoa, for allowing the employer flexibility of payments, which resulted in him receiving his first payout yesterday.
“ I am also extending my sincere appreciation to the employer on the ability to pay the injured worker and for his support and commitment in settling the matter and complying with the provisions of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, Cap 94 and the Health and Safety at Work Act, 1996 respectively,” Mr Usamate said.
4 KALOKOLEVU VILLAGERS WELCOME ACCESS TO CLEAN DRINKING WATER
More than 270 villagers in Lami now have access to clean and safe drinking water through an ecological purification system (EPS), thanks to the partnership between the Department of Water and Sewerage, the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The EPS, which is the first of its kind to be installed in a local rural setting, was commissioned by the Ministry of Works, Transport and Public Utilities permanent secretary Commander Francis Kean in Kalokolevu village, Lami yesterday.
Commander Kean said the pilot project was aimed at improving accessibility to clean water and sanitation to people living in rural areas.
He said this is a major milestone for the country and the Government in particular in its desire to lift the living standards of people in the rural and maritime areas.
“Improving the living standards of the rural citizens through better accessibility to clean water and sanitation is one of the key priorities of this Government as enshrined in the Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress and the Government Roadmap to Sustainable Development in the medium term,” Commander Kean said.
“It is also a key driver to the improvement of the health of the rural and maritime community plus reducing poverty in the long run.”
The EPS would ensure that the villagers of Kalokolevu and other rural areas in Fiji adopt a relatively cheap, sustainable option for cleaning their water supply naturally without the use of chemicals.
The EPS is a modification of the slow sand water filter which operates through an ecological process of biological activity in the sand layer, removing contamination and odour.
Commander Kean stressed Government’s intent to install EPS or other water purification systems into all water supply projects to ensure the removal of contamination before water is consumed.
“According to Government official records, about 45 per cent of Fiji’s population live in the rural and maritime areas. About 70 per cent of our rural and maritime population consume water directly from creeks and river sources which are most vulnerable to contamination,” Commander Kean said.
Rural water statistics show that there are a total of 2497 rural water supply schemes covered throughout the country which receive water with no treatment and it is hoped that the low cost and rural-friendly EPS could be adopted nationwide in needy areas.
Commander Kean also urged the villagers of Kalokolevu to look after the EPS well to ensure that the system remains operational and sustainable.
He also extended the Fijian Government’s gratitude to the Government of Japan and JICA for the assistance in the introduction and implementation of the EPS technology in Fiji.
Under its technical co-operation programme, JICA had also funded a training involving Japanese EPS experts to train staff of the Department of Water & Sewerage, WAF and other interested stakeholders on the design and construction of the EPS here.
Meanwhile, during the commissioning ceremony yesterday, JICA also handed over equipment worth over $33,000 to assist the Department of Water & Sewerage in its monitoring and testing of rural water schemes.
JICA Fiji Resident Representative, Mr Shumon Yoshiara is hopeful that the Portable Ultrasonic Transit Time Flow Meter and the water and bacteriology test kits will further assist the department in its efforts to expand the EPS to other rural communities and ensure access to the basic right of clean drinking water and adequate sanitation for all.
A total of $20,000 had been incurred in the installation of the EPS at Kalokolevu.
5 AWARDS TO HIGHLIGHT SPORTING CONTRIBUTION TO FIJI
Another exciting Fiji Sports Awards will take place next Friday 26th July 2013 when hundreds of sports administrators, sporting personalities, supporters and the general public will witness this spectacular annual event at the Fiji Sports Council facility, the Vodafone Arena.
The Annual Fiji Sports Awards is an opportunity for the sporting and wider community to celebrate and acknowledge the talent and success both on and off the field of sports men and women in Fiji and of those who have contributed to the success of our athletes such as administrators, coaches, technical officials and volunteers of the year.
The Sports Council today acknowledged the different sports federations for recognizing their nominees.
The Eleven (11) Categories contested are listed below together with the sporting personalities nominated from individual Sporting Federations:-
1. Organization of the Year
2. Team of the year
Hockey – (Fiji Women)
Netball Fiji – National Team
3. Volunteer of the Year
Abinesh K Chand – (Athletics)
Shalendra Prasad – (Football)
4. Administrator of the Year
Mahend Prasad – (Football)
Seremaia Tuqiri – (Karate)
5. Technical Official of the Year
Tumeli Navutovuto – (Body Building)
Sera Kaitani Navalili – (Fiji Rugby League)
6. Coach of the Year
Takashi Iwasaki – (Judo)
Unaisi Rokoura – (Netball)
Fred A S Fatiaki – (Paralympic)
Salimoni Ravouvou – (Rugby Union)
7. Photograph of the Year
Allison Southey – (Fiji Hockey)
Jonacani Lalakobau – (Fiji Times)
8. Young Male Athlete
Tevita M Takayawa – (Judo)
Isaiah Thomas Elder – (Power Lifting)
9. Young Female Athlete
Lala Malia Ravatu – (Hockey)
Matelita Buadromo – (Swimming)