- BEEKEEPING TRAINING FOR TEACHERS – The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Education recently conducted a training on beekeeping for 46 school teachers who teach Agriculture at the Tanoa hotel in Lautoka this week.
- YOUNG COUPLE WELCOME OPENING OF $18.3MILLION HOUSING PROJECT – The opening of the $18.3 million Public Rental Board flats in Raiwai by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has been commended by the new residents.
- WESTERN DIVISION PLACES BAN TO AVOID FOREST FIRES – The Acting Commissioner Western Luke Moroivalu has announced that a task force has put in place a ban of all fires to bush, forest and sugar cane fields in the Western Division.
- NEW SCHOOL BLOCK TO BOOST MORALE FOR NORTHERN STUDENTS – More than 120 students of Valebasoga Secondary School students will benefit from the construction of a new classroom block that will cater for 10 classrooms.
- NADONUMAI SETTLEMENT DECLARED VIOLENCE FREE – The Navesi settlement in Nadonumai, Suva was recently declared “a violence free community” following months of awareness programs.
- VUNIDOGOLOA RELOCATION 2ND PHASE UNDERWAY – The second phase of the Vunidogoloa Village relocation project is underway in the Northern Division.
- NEW MACHINES TO ALLOW COMMUNITIES TO ACCESS CLEAN DRINKING WATER – Plans are underway to purchase rig machines used for drilling boreholes to create water wells in rural communities across the country.
1 BEEKEEPING TRAINING FOR TEACHERS
The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Education recently conducted a training on beekeeping for 46 school teachers who teach Agriculture at schools.
The Ministry of Agriculture’s Apiculture officer Kamal Prasad said that following the training, these teachers will then teach students on beekeeping methods.
In addition, he said that some of the teachers that attended the training are on the verge of retiring and this training is an eye opener to them to run their own business when their teaching career comes to an end.
The Education Officer in Lautoka Direndra Prasad said beekeeping is part of the Ministry of Education’s special curriculum for the Agriculture sector in secondary schools.
“I appreciate the number of teachers that have sacrificed their three days from the two weeks school holidays just to attend the workshop and I know that they have gained a lot.”
Meanwhile a teacher from Sabeto College Dalmit Lal said the training is a lifelong skill. Jotivini Takiveikata, a teacher at the Maharisha Santan College said that the training has really refreshed her limited knowledge in Beekeeping which will help her a lot in teaching the students.
This was the fourth beekeeping workshop held in the country for Agriculture school teachers. Last year three workshops were held in Suva, Tailevu and Rewa followed by one in the Northern division.
Topics covered during the three-day workshop (26-28 August) in Lautoka included the basics of beekeeping, practical field work and teaching of how to handle pests and diseases.
2 YOUNG COUPLE WELCOME OPENING OF $18.3MILLION HOUSING PROJECT
The opening of the $18.3 million Public Rental Board flats in Raiwai by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has been commended by the new residents.
Twenty-six-year old Varitema Narara, who received the keys to her new flat by PM Bainimarama, said it was a huge relief for her and her husband after months of searching for an affordable place to stay.
“I would like to thank the Government and the PRB for this project because now my husband and I will be able to afford the rent in this place,” Mrs Narara said.
“Previously we were always moving and looking for affordable places to rent and live in.”
Mrs Narara will be paying $99 a week in rental to the PRB.
“This flat is more spacious and a lot better in terms of facilities compared to the last flat that we were living in,” Mrs Narara said.
Mrs Narara and her husband are among hundreds of other Fijians who will move into the new flats soon.
At the opening, the Prime Minister emphasized the importance of housing reforms for ordinary Fijians.
“Of all the services my Government has delivered over the past eight years, nothing gives me more satisfaction than to have provided many Fijian families with a home”, the Prime Minister said.
“They join the many thousands of other ordinary Fijians around the country who have benefited from my Government’s housing programs – whether through the Public Rental Board, the Housing Authority, the Squatter Settlement Upgrade Project, the Housing Assistance Relief Trust, or the Housing Assistance Grant for first home buyers.”
The Raiwai PRB flats were constructed by the Chinese Railway First Group (Fiji) Company Limited.
3 WESTERN DIVISION PLACES BAN TO AVOID FOREST FIRES
The Acting Commissioner Western Luke Moroivalu has announced that a task force has put in place a ban of all fires to bush, forest and sugar cane fields in the Western Division.
This ban is due to the numerous indiscriminate setting of fires directly or indirectly by individuals to the bush, forest and sugar cane fields in the division.
Data provided by the National Fire Authority revealed that they had attended 484 fires for the month of August of which a 100 have been cane fire reports while 384 have been bush and rubbish fire reports.
“This deliberate and indiscriminate setting of fires has caused negative impact on the individual and national economy and the degradation of the environment”, Moroivalu said.
The general public in the Western Division are advised that any indiscriminate setting of fires outside the vicinity of individual properties pertaining to bush, forest and sugar cane fields will be dealt with according to Law (The Forest Decree 1992 and Crimes Decree).
All members of the general public in the Western Division are advised to please adhere to this Notice during this dry weather spell and until it finishes.
4 NEW SCHOOL BLOCK TO BOOST MORALE FOR NORTHERN STUDENTS
More than 120 students of Valebasoga Secondary School students will benefit from the construction of a new classroom block that will cater for 10 classrooms.
Acting Commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu said the works carried out at the school reflects the Bainimarama Government’s commitment to provide education for every Fijian child.
“Education is an important aspect for every child and a proper classroom creates a healthy life style for studying”, Bolalevu said.
He added that construction works at the school also saw the contribution of engineers from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.
School principal Ravin Lal said a fire destroyed the classroom block in 2008, damaging 10 classrooms.
“Work is being done by the Royal Fiji Military Force of Labasa under the Commissioner Northern’s Office and we really appreciate the efforts being undertaken to provide a proper studying environment for the children.”
Mr Lal said there is a few work left to complete at the site and once a ‘certificate of completion’ is provided, an official opening for the school block will be carried out.
5 NADONUMAI SETTLEMENT DECLARED VIOLENCE FREE
The Navesi settlement in Nadonumai, Suva was recently declared “a violence free community” following months of awareness programs.
Last week the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni unveiled a billboard marking the the completion of 11 months of awareness programs aimed at reducing gender discrimination and violence in Nadonumai.
Nadonumai is the 90th community in Fiji to join the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign (ZTVFC) and undergo 10 preparatory phases to champion the protection of women and children. A gatekeepers committee that is made up of Fiji Police, social welfare officers, male leaders, church leaders, women and youth leaders have teamed up to address the root causes of violence and put in appropriate measures to curb all forms of violence and abuse.
Minister Luveni said that the positive results received are largely through increased awareness and advocacy programs on the elimination of violence.
“The Ministry and Fiji Police in partnership with Non-Government Organisation (NGO’s) facilitate awareness programs which focuses on positive parenting, child protection, anger and stress management, Domestic Violence Decree, Child Welfare Decree, Gender Based Violence, women’s reproductive health to name a few. The campaign provides information so that a community can make informed decisions, particularly the police reports shows a decrease in maltreatment of women and also a reduction in crime rates.
“Likewise the Ministry also provides the women’s groups with some form of income generating programs so that they can also alleviate poverty. The women are encouraged to fully use their talents to be financially independent and likewise the community provides respect to the women, helping them to become more resourceful and confident of their role as agents of change in their communities,” Minister Luveni said.
Mrs Ulamila Sereivalu, Officer in charge of the Delainavesi Police Post said that the campaign has been well received by the community of Nadonumai.
“It unites the community to work with the police, this integrated approach to implement this campaign is very effective. Nadonumai has been known for its notorious activities and before it was very difficult to approach the Navesi youths, but now this has begun to change. The youths have realized their role, thereby maintaining the law and order in the community. People are not taking these issues lightly, we have seen women coming up to report cases, which shows that they are well aware about the reporting procedures. We hope to spread this campaign out to all other 10 settlements in Delainavesi,” Mrs Sereivalu said.
Similarly, Mr Jone Raco, community chief for Delainavesi settlements said that this campaign has been an eye opener for the male folks.
“Before, Nadonumai was regarded as the red zone area for Lami police but now through this campaign, there is a decrease in criminal activities. The men have attended 7 workshops with the women with great emphasis of that training focusing on gender equality, it has changed their mindset particularly to provide equal opportunities for women to participate into decision making.
“The traditional mentality that women are just meant for kitchen, have been challenged, men have realized the importance of women’s economic participation, and thus the men and women will work together to start a new bakery project. We are grateful to the Ministry of Women for bringingthis campaign to us that cultivates the values of respect, genuine care andhonesty as key pillars for building a progressive society,” Mr Raco added.
6 VUNIDOGOLOA RELOCATION 2ND PHASE UNDERWAY
The second phase of the Vunidogoloa Village relocation project is underway in the Northern Division.
While the first phase in building the 30 new homes completed, the acting Commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu said the second phase of the projectwould assist villagers improve and elevate their livelihood to another level.
“This involves the construction of waterways and drains; footpaths; landscaping and landslide mitigation,” Mr Bolalevu said.
“The newly occupied area of land is susceptible to soil erosion, therefore proper drainage is essential.”
Included in the second phase of the project is the construction of an evacuation centre that will assist villagers find shelter in times of disasters.
“This is important as we continue to help villages and settlements mitigate the impact of disasters.”
Mr Bolalevu said the construction of fish ponds and perhaps planting of rice would take place by villagers.
The assistance is part of a larger initiative by Government to make communities economically vibrant and to improve their livelihood.
Vunidogoloa Village headman Sailosi Ramatu on behalf of the community expressed gratitude to Government for the assistance.
“I thankful Government did not only assist with the relocation of the village, but also identified and established income-generating projects for the people,” Mr Ramatu said.
Fish ponds, farms, and a copra drier have been constructed in the village. The second phase of the Vunidogoloa project will be completed by the end of October this year.
Government is spending close to $200,000.00 on this project.
7 NEW MACHINES TO ALLOW COMMUNITIES TO ACCESS CLEAN DRINKING WATER
Plans are underway to purchase rig machines used for drilling boreholes to create water wells in rural communities across the country.
The Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources permanent secretary Tevita Boseiwaqa said government has set aside a budget of $2.6 million for the purchase of a drilling truck, two sets of compressors, and other specialised equipment.
“These machines will assist the ministry in drilling new boreholes for those living in our maritime islands and this allow them to access clean and quality drinking water,” Mr Boseiwaqa said.
“These water development projects will solve the recurring water problems these communities face and ensure a safe and reliable supply of clean water,” Mr Boseiwaqa said.
Mr Boseiwaqa highlighted that his department is to monitor and protect such resource from abuse and contamination of new water sources.
“A database of boreholes is being maintained by the section containing details of: hydro geological investigations, borehole drilling program, borehole structure specifications, water quality and extraction rate of groundwater from boreholes,” Mr Boseiwaqa said.
With this new development underway, Mr Boseiwaqa said all Fijians would have access to clean and quality drinking water in their homes.