- PRESIDENT RECEIVES FIJI TEAM TO 2015 SPECIAL OLYMPICS – His Excellency, the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today received the Fiji Team, who for the first time, will compete at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles.
- PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATORS URGED TO COMMUNICATE WITH RESOURCE OWNERS – Provincial administrators have been urged to consult more with iTaukei resource owners on the importance of protecting and managing their resources.
- WATER LEVELS IN HEALTHY CONDITIONS – Water levels at dams around the country remain healthy despite the prolonged dry weather conditions says water Authority of Fiji (WAF) chief executive officer Opetaia Ravai.
- CALLS FOR A GOVERNMENT SERVICE CENTRE IN RABI DURING NDP CONSULTATION – The need for a government service centre was highlighted at the National Development Plan consultation in Nuku on the island of Rabi yesterday.
- YAROI HANDS IN SUBMISSION FOR NDP CONSULTATION – Villagers of Yaroi in Savusavu today gathered at the village hall to hand in their submissions to the National Development Plan Consultation team today.
- PRESIDENT RECEIVES FIJI TEAM TO 2015 SPECIAL OLYMPICS
His Excellency, the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau today received the Fiji Team, who for the first time, will compete at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles.
While addressing the athletes during their iTatau (farewell ceremony) presentation, the Head of State commended the athletes for their diligence and determination in their training preparations for the upcoming games.
“Fiji expects you to come out victorious and I am sure that you as individuals have also set yourselves high expectations ,” Ratu Epeli said.
“You are going to represent Fiji for the first time, treat it as an adventure. You will be up against top athletes but that should not discourage you from performing to the best of your ability.”
Ratu Epeli urged the team to achieve their set target and make Fiji proud.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Suva Special School student Abdul Imtiaz Sharif said he is proud to be representing Fiji at the international event.
“I will be taking part in the 200metres and 400metres race at the Special Olympics Games. I am excited and looking forward to the competition because it is a good exposure for us. We will get a chance to make new friends too,” Abdul said.
Abdul, who is challenged with reading difficulty, said his goal is to work hard and make his country, family and school proud.
The games will also provide an avenue for discussions on the impact that Special Olympics has to the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.
The Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Iliesa Delana will be accompanying the six athletes with three officials to the games.
Athletes from 170 nations will be competing in 25 Olympic-type sports in Los Angeles from 25th July to 3rd August this year.
- PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATORS URGED TO COMMUNICATE WITH RESOURCE OWNERS
Provincial administrators have been urged to consult more with iTaukei resource owners on the importance of protecting and managing their resources.
These were the comments of the Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Mereseini Vuniwaqa while opening the two day National iTaukei Resource Owners Committee Workshop in Nadave today.
Minister Vuniwaqa reminded provincial resource owners representatives on the importance of establishing vital networks with iTaukei resource owners.
“It is our duty to ensure that whatever position we take is based on the hallmarks and objectives of this committee which is to promote the capacity development of the iTaukei to make informed decisions on sustainable management of their natural resources,” Minister Vuniwaqa said.
“You must ensure the participation of the iTaukei in decision-making processes that affect their resources; support efforts to increase the resilience of the local iTaukei communities against the impacts of climate change and natural disasters.”
Minister Vuniwaqa also highlighted that as resource owners representatives, it is their duty to keep their people fully informed and not get involved in politics.
“There is no room for politics in those noble objectives. Objectives which aim to strengthen the institutional framework for iTaukei resource management in Fiji,” Minister Vuniwaqa said.
“Do not let politics mar your decision.”
Ministry for iTaukei Affairs permanent secretary Savenaca Kaunisela said the workshop provides a platform for provincial administrators to learn more on managing and safe-guarding natural resources.
The workshop focuses on areas of promoting the capacity development of the iTaukei to make informed decisions on sustainable management of natural resources, ensure proper decision making processes and supports efforts in increasing the resilience of iTaukei communities against the impacts of climate change.
- WATER LEVELS IN HEALTHY CONDITIONS
Water levels at dams around the country remain healthy despite the prolonged dry weather conditions says water Authority of Fiji (WAF) chief executive officer Opetaia Ravai.
The CEO is however urging members of the public to continue using water sparingly as weather conditions are expected to affect the country for the next six to eight months.
“I would like to encourage people during this prolonged dry spell that we are going through to use water conservatively and ensure it is on a needs basis and not waste this resource as every drop is precious,” Mr Ravai said.
“The water in the dams have not reached critical levels as yet but at the moment we are continuing monitoring them on a regular basis. The water level in the small dam is a challenge and for that we have other supplementary sources so there is no need to worry at this stage.”
He added that WAF continues to monitor levels at its dams closely by recording changes to the consumption levels as rainfall remain below average in the western and northern parts of the country.
Mr Ravai said WAF will continue to assist all Fijians facing water shortages through carting and other means.
“This is a commitment that the Government has made and the WAF, as an implementing agency, will take water to people who need it.
“There is no other source that they can rely on especially when they have wells or bore holes drying up and they need water so we will cut water to them,” Mr Ravai said.
WAF is working closely with the various divisional commissioners and the district officers that are providing feedback on the water shortage areas in Nadi, Lautoka and throughout the Western Division.
“We are aware of the fact that we need to keep in close contact with the Dos and the Commissioners so that we are able to improve and extend our water carting measures and areas. That is continuing and we also have weekly updates on the situation on the ground from our regional staff.
“We encourage those that are facing issues with their water supply in the rural areas to contact their Provincial Administrators or their District Counsellors and DO’s in the various towns so that this channel of communication is kept open and we will continue to assist them in the best way that we can.
“In the long term, we are looking at extending our reticulation network to cover some of these areas. A lot of these houses are isolated so it is quite difficult for water trucks to cart water to them on a continual basis. We are looking into this and for the long term, we plan to extend our coverage,” Mr Ravai added.
- CALLS FOR A GOVERNMENT SERVICE CENTRE IN RABI DURING NDP CONSULTATION
The need for a government service centre was highlighted at the National Development Plan consultation in Nuku on the island of Rabi yesterday.
Rabi Council of Leaders Executive Director, David Christopher informed the NDP team that a government service centre was a need for the island as it is too costly for the people to continue crossing to Savusavu.
“It must be included in the plan, the need for a government service centre on the island such as social welfare and other government agencies as it is too difficult for our people to travel to Savusavu,” Mr Christopher said.
He said land was available for government to lease for a service centre which will provide essential services for the people of Rabi.
Mr Christopher also raised the island’s concern on the need for more markets for their fishermen and rural banking services.
He said in the next five to ten years they expect Rabi to receive proper water supply to the four villages on the island.
Divisional Planning Officer Northern Alipate Bolalevu said the concerns raised by the village leaders indicated the need for more development on Rabi island.
“Most of the concerns raised in the 20 year plan are water, solar power and improvement in road and government services,” Mr Bolalevu said.
Tabewa Village representative Ana Tiraka also requested the NDP team for housing assistance.
“There are around 30 houses on this island that were damaged during tropical cyclone Thomas and we hope that this can be included in governments plan to help our people,” Mrs Tiraka said.
Mr Bolalevu said he would look into it and housing assistance would be included in their rural housing project assistance for next year.
- YAROI HANDS IN SUBMISSION FOR NDP CONSULTATION
Villagers of Yaroi in Savusavu today gathered at the village hall to hand in their submissions to the National Development Plan Consultation team today.
Village headman Epi Salala informed the NDP team that they had been looking forward to making their submissions and highlight their plans to government all week.
“We are excited to finally meet with the NDP team and our submissions include the need for a proper sewage treatment plant for Savusavu, we hope government will consider this in their five year plan,” Mr Salala said.
Mr Salala added that a proper sewage treatment plant is needed for Savusavu considering the importance of protecting marine areas.
He said this was also an important submission due to the increase in tourist arrivals and government’s Balaga jetty project was also expected to attract more investors into the Northern town.
NDP team leader Luke Koroisave informed the villagers that the Balaga jetty project is one of the major projects for Savusavu and there were already plans in place for a proper sewage plant.
Yaroi village traditional head, Simeli Tabucala requested the team to also include the need for more consultations regarding i-qoliqoli leases.
“We understand development is taking place, we accept this, but the i-qoliqoli is also our source of income, we get our daily meals from the sea and we would like to hold more talks on this issue,” Mr Tabucala said.
The NDP team was also lauded for reaching out to people living in villages and settlements and accepting submissions.