1. WOMEN’S MINISTER COMMENDS UNDP PROJECT – The Hon. Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar has commended the Market for Change Project initiated by the United Nations Women’s Organisation.
2. DELANA LOOKS TO INSPIRE STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES – More than 540 students with disabilities from across the country were inspired today by the message delivered by Fiji’s Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Hon. Iliesa Delana.
3. MINISTER PRAISE ROLE OF WOMEN IN RURAL FIJI – Fiji’s Minister for Women Rosy Akbar has commended the contribution made by women living in rural communities towards Fiji’s socio-economic development.
4. EASTERN DIVISION AGRICULTURE SHOW AND WORLD FOOD DAY IN LEVUKA – The 2014 Eastern Division Agriculture Show will begin tomorrow (Thursday 17 October) at Nasau Park in Levuka Town in collaboration with World Food Day.
5. PROMOTING PRODUCTIVITY AND EXCELLENCE IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE– Initiatives like the Service Excellence Awards (SEA) has promoted productivity and instil excellence in service delivery within the public service sector.
6. CALL TO INCREASE LOCAL PRODUCTION: AGRICULTURE MINISTRY – Fiji’s Agriculture Ministry has called on all stakeholders for a collective commitment towardsincreasing Fiji’s local food production.
7. WATER CARTAGE CONTINUES: TAGICAKIBAU – The Ministry of Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management continue to cart water to communities affected by the prolonged dry spell.
1 WOMEN’S MINISTER COMMENDS UNDP PROJECT
The Hon. Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar has commended the Market for Change Project initiated by the United Nations Women’s Organisation.
The Market for Change Project targets market vendors in an effort to help improve the working conditions, leadership capabilities and earning power of women in both rural and urban areas.
Speaking at the International Rural Women’s Day celebration in Labasa today, the Minister highlighted that the Project expects to benefit more than 7,000 women vendors from rural and urban communities across the country.
“At the national level, shelters for women market vendors at the Rakiraki and Suva municipal markets have been constructed and the Labasa Market produces the largest fresh produces in Vanua Levu that has approximately 500 vendors”, the Minister told guests at today’s event.
“The economy of the Labasa district is largely driven by season wealth obtained from sugar harvesting and the majority of fresh produce sold in the Labasa market is locally grown on small farms.”
The United Nations Women organisation Regional Programme Specialist Preeya Ieli said rural women play a critical role all around the world. She added that markets are essential to the livelihoods of many Fiji households where a vast majority are women.
“Here in Labasa 74 per cent of the market vendors are women, therefore the UN Women started Markets for ChangeProject in Fiji.”
Ms Ieli said working in 10 markets including Labasa, the Markets for Change project mainly targets vendors in an effort to improve the working conditions and leadership capabilities.
The project has been implemented in other Pacific island countries including Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.
2 DELANA LOOKS TO INSPIRE STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
More than 540 students with disabilities from across the country were inspired today by the message delivered by Fiji’s Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Hon. Iliesa Delana.
Using his own example where he won Fiji’s first gold medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, the Assistant Minister said physical disabilities shouldn’t be a deterrent to achieve growth and development. He reminded them to focus on their aspirations without letting their disability stand in their way.
The Assistant Minister was speaking at the 2014 National Paralympic Games at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka this morning where he commended the work carried out by teachers, parents and community members towards empowering children living with disabilities.
“This day is meant to recognise their abilities and not their disabilities – as unique, special and equal individuals and we should recognise the presence of individuals with special needs in our society and treat them with fairness and equality. They are an integral part of family and society,” he said to the crowd, which included members of the Nadroga provincial rugby team who participated at today’s event.
“We hope that through the collective support of everyone gathered here today, more heroes will be unearthed.”
The two – day program will focus on the theme ‘Ability to Shine Through our Heroes’ and Hon. Delana said the event could be a launching pad for a talented individual yet to be unearthed.
“Today could be a dawn of a bright new future for someone with special need similar to me in any discipline,” he said.
The sports day programme has seen students from as far as Savusavu and Taveuni participating with other students from around the country.
3 MINISTER PRAISE ROLE OF WOMEN IN RURAL FIJI
Fiji’s Minister for Women Rosy Akbar has commended the contribution made by women living in rural communities towards Fiji’s socio-economic development.
The Minister made the comments at the International Rural Women’s Day celebration, which drew the attention of many women, market vendors and children at the Labasa Civic Centre today.
Officiating at the event, the Minister highlighted that the day was set aside to pay tribute to those women living in rural communities across the world including Fiji.
The Minister said with the collaboration of the United Nations Women’s Organization it has ensured that women’s rights are enforced and protected.
“When women are given access to land there are improvements household welfare, agriculture productivity and gender equality.”
The Minister also led public consultations in Labasa today where more than 100 people attended to seek advice on Government’s social welfare and assistance programs. Today’s program saw the Minister lead a team of officials from her ministries holding face-to-face consultations with the northern public.
“I can assure you when we return to Suva we will take your issues and will give you and answer in two weeks time”, the Minister told Fijians who turned out today.
73 year Satya Kumar said she attended the consultation to find out how she could apply to the welfare scheme and its benefits.
“This is very useful for Labasa and all other places, we the people are given thechance to meet the minister and tell her of our problems and seek advice on what we should do”, Mrs Kumar said.
The Ministry is expected to hold public consultations in other parts of the country soon.
4 EASTERN DIVISION AGRICULTURE SHOW AND WORLD FOOD DAY IN LEVUKA
The 2014 Eastern Division Agriculture Show will begin tomorrow (Thursday 17 October) at Nasau Park in Levuka Town in collaboration with World Food Day.
Ministry of Health’s National Adviser for Non Communicable Diseases, Dr Isimeli Tukana will open the event while the Ministry of Agriculture’s Deputy Secretary Agriculture Development, Mr Uraia Waibuta will close the Agriculture Show on Friday.
An annual event, World Food Day is being organised by the National Food and Nutrition Centre (NFNC) in partnership with the Lomaiviti Education Office, the Lomaiviti Health Services and the Ministry of Agriculture.
The global theme for the 2014 World Food Day had been localised to “Family Farming: Feeding Fiji, Caring for the Environment” coinciding with this year’s Eastern Division Agriculture Show focusing on the similar theme “Sustainable Family Farming for Food, Nutrition and Livelihood Security.”
World Food Day in Fiji is celebrated every year to heighten public awareness locally of the world food problem and strengthening solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
Since 1981, the National Food and Nutrition Centre has played a significant role in organising meetings and assembling committees each year with relevant stakeholders to manage World Food Day events.
A total of nine schools are expected to attend and participate in the garden competition, poster and oratory contest during tomorrow’s celebration. Education officers from the Ministry of Education will be assessing the school poster competition and the oratory contests.
The Lomaiviti Health Services will also be providing screening for the community basically height, weight, waist, blood pressure and blood sugar. Nutrition awareness materials provided by the National Food and Nutrition Centre (NFNC) will also be disseminated to the public during the day.
The Ministry of Agriculture’s Eastern Division Show will provide a display of crops and livestock suitable for small scale farming cultivation and breeding andwill also be assessing Ovalau school gardens competition and three Farmers Awards: i) Best Backyard Farmer, ii) Best Vegetable Farmer and iii) Best Organic Crop Farmer.
5 PROMOTING PRODUCTIVITY AND EXCELLENCE IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE
Initiatives like the Service Excellence Awards (SEA) has promoted productivity and instil excellence in service delivery within the public service sector.
This was highlighted by the Public Service Commission permanent secretary Parmesh Chand at a press conference this afternoon with senior officials from other ministries and agencies.
Mr Chand said since its inception 9 years ago, the awards program and framework has brought about significant improvements in the public service.
“For us at PSC we have improved performance through achievement of targeted activities under leadership, education and training, social justice, poverty reduction and civil servicereform,” he said.
“As custodians of the framework in the service, PSC is also working to meet the requirements of SEA framework and to improve our systems and process,” he said.
Fiji’s Roving Ambassador to the Polynesian and Micronesian Islands in the Pacific Litia Mawi said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ participation in the exercise has contributed to the improvement of services at various missions.
“During evaluation processes we have had to request the various heads of missions and counsellors witness the processes of obtaining excellence,” Ms Mawi said.
“I must commend the PSC introducing such exercises which will the ministries too improve their services for all Fijians,” she said.
With this year’s theme focused on Enhancing advocacy for Climate change and sustainable future, Mr Chand is confident that all civil servants will be able to learn more on the topic and reflect it at community level.
The awards is categorised into four categories, which is the Commitment award, the Public Service Excellence, the Prime Ministers Award and the Achievement Award.
The President of Kiribati His Excellency the Anote Tong will be the chief guest at the event on Friday.
6 CALL TO INCREASE LOCAL PRODUCTION: AGRICULTURE MINISTRY
Fiji’s Agriculture Ministry has called on all stakeholders for a collective commitment towards increasing Fiji’s local food production.
The Hon. Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Rural Maritime Development and Disaster Management Joeli Cawaki included this in his maiden speech in Parliament this week.
Mr Cawaki highlighted the high level of the food imports in Fiji compared to local food exports.
“With the amount of fertile land we have, Fiji should be a major food exporter and yet, we have failed to capitalise on the opportunities we have had, even with our domestic markets,” he said.
He stated that Fijians have started to grow some of the produce that we have been importing at high cost and every individual needs to be more attuned to ourlocal markets and the demand for food in the tourism industry in particular.
There is a need, he said to have more farmers producing more local food and that is why the Government encourages youth to turn to farming.
“We should be able to feed ourselves to guarantee our food security, and we should be able to produce enough to be a food exporter, not an importer,” he added.
He pointed out that he was encouraged by the plans of the Government to provide the iTaukei with the means to develop their land and reap the benefits.
He emphasized there is a need to create more jobs in rural areas and to improve access to education and health.
“We are delivering such things as electricity and clean water that many isolated places in Fiji have never experienced.
“Government has also put a huge amount of effort into improving transportation links with inter-island vessels, so Fijians are less isolated and we can move larger equipment to outer islands quickly and more efficiently.
He also urged the Fijian people to seize the opportunities that have been provided by Government and run with them.
“I am especially keen on our young people to take the advantage of our free schooling incentives; there is now no reason for any Fijian parents not to send their child to school and no reason why that child cannot go for higher education if he or she has the capability.
Mr Cawaki stated that they have heard a lot of drop-outs or vulivakavo in our iTaukei society in particular and stressed to put those days behind and embrace the education revolution that Government is offering because that is the key to a better Fiji for the iTaukei, as well as every Fijian. He added that his attitude will move the nation forward.
7 WATER CARTAGE CONTINUES: TAGICAKIBAU
The Ministry of Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management continue to cart water to communities affected by the prolonged dry spell.
While the number of affected communities has slightly dropped, the National Disaster Management director Mr Manasa Tagicakibau said that requests for water continue to be received.
“This morning, we delivered two water tanks to Ratu Latianara Primary and Secondary School.Water has also been delivered to Vanuakula Primary School and Batinikama settlement in Naitasiri today,” Mr Tagicakibau said.
For the Eastern Division, 97,000 litres of water was delivered to Buliya and Dravuni in Kadavu over the weekend.
Mr Tagicakibau further stated that water continue to be delivered in the Western and Northern Division under the supervision of the Divisional Commissioners.
About 3,184,000 litres of water has been delivered to the affected communities including the maritime islands in the North.
The Water Authority of Fiji continues to monitor all water metered scheme areas, while water cartage will continue on low pressure areas such as Bulileka; Boca; Low cost, Qawa area, Basoga metered area in the province of Macuata.
“While rain has been experience by some parts of Fiji, there are some areas in theMacuata and Bua province that have not experience rain.
“And those areas will be a priority for the Commissioner Northern and his team,” Mr Tagicakibau emphasized.
He is also pleading to the public to use water wisely and for those areas who have received some rain to store water.