- NIGER AND FIJI ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS – The Republic of Niger and the Republic of Fiji formalized diplomatic relations at a ceremony at the Permanent Mission of Fiji to the United Nations in New York this week.
- NEW WATER PROJECT WELCOMED BY CAKAUDROVE COMMUNITY – Prime Minister Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama this week officially opened the Dreketi Water Project in Dreketi Village in Wailevu East Coast in Cakaudrove.
- BUA STUDENTS TO BENEFIT FROM ROAD DEVELOPMENT – A $2.6m government project currently taking place in the Bua Province will benefit a population of 400 Fijians living there including students.
- NEW BRIDGE TO LINK NASUVA TO SCHOOLS AND MARKETS – The construction of a new bridge and road in Nasuva in Seaqaqa, Macuata will benefit more than 20 households living here.
- TRAINING TO STRENTHEN LEADERSHIP CAPACITY – The Public Service Commission in its commitment to achieve “Excellence in Public Service Delivery” conducted a workshop on Managing Poor Performance.
- MINISTER LOOKS TO WOMEN TO PROMOTE YOUTH ISSUES – The Minister of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni has commended the Dorcas Welfare Organisation for its commitment towards the welfare of the poor.
- NEW DEVELOPMENT FOR NURSING STUDIES – The Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) has been incorporated into the undergraduate-nursing programme to prepare nurses with relevant knowledge and skills in the area of childcare and treatment.
- NAKASI HART WOMEN UNDERGO IGP TRAINING – More women are being encouraged through training in income-generating projects to sustain their livelihoods.
- NEW RECREATION FACILITY FOR ELDERLY HOME – Members of the Samabula Senior Citizens Home were overjoyed with the opening of their new recreation facility today.
- WORK BEGINS ON BAU CENTRAL COLLEGE ESTABLISHMENT – It was a historic day for the people of Mokani village yesterday as they witnessed the beginning of Phase 1 works on the establishment of the new Bau Central College in Tailevu.
- AGRICULTURE MINISTRY BRIEF FARMERS ON PREVENTATIVE MEASURES FOR DRY SPELL – The Ministry of Agriculture is working closely with farmers in the central division to ensure their crops are not affected during the dry season.
- AGRICULTURE SHOW TO PROMOTE HEALTHY FIJI – The commencement of the 2014 Agriculture today will highlight the importance of Fiji’s agriculture sector in building a healthy nation.
1 NIGER AND FIJI ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS
The Republic of Niger and the Republic of Fiji formalized diplomatic relations at a ceremony at the Permanent Mission of Fiji to the United Nations in New York this week.
The Permanent Representative of Niger to the United Nations, Ambassador Boubacar Boureima and his Fiji counterpart, Ambassador Peter Thomson, signed a joint communiqué establishing diplomatic relations between the two States.
The communiqué conveys the agreement of both States for their diplomatic relations to be guided by the goals and principles of the United Nations Charter and the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The communiqué expresses the desire of both States tostrengthen friendship and cooperation between their two countries in political, economic, cultural and other fields, on the basis of principles of sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and non-interference in the affairs of other States.
Following the formalization ceremony, Ambassadors Boureima and Thomson held talks on areas of common interest between their two countries and potential areas of cooperation at the United Nations. Ambassador Boureima expressed his appreciation for Fiji’s leadership of the G77 and China in 2013 and for its current Presidency of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board.
2 NEW WATER PROJECT WELCOMED BY CAKAUDROVE COMMUNITY
Prime Minister Rear Admiral Voreqe Bainimarama this week officially opened the Dreketi Water Project in Dreketi Village in Wailevu East Coast in Cakaudrove.
Benefiting a population of 42 households including the youth living there, the $28,000 water project comes after years of struggle by the community to access quality water supply.
The Prime Minister highlighted that the contribution by the villagers to the project was a positive sign. This after $10,000 was contributed by them while $18,000 was Government’s contribution towards the completion of the project.
“We are looking into the Northern Division and also around the country for villages and settlements who are in great need of proper water supply”, the Prime Minister said.
He said every individual in the country deserved to have access to proper and safe drinking water.
The village headman Apenisa Vaniqi, 57, said since his position as a village headman from 1982 the dream of the people to receive water right to their door steps hasbeen fulfilled.
“I am grateful to the government and especially the villagers who have worked tirelessly to get this project completed.”
3 BUA STUDENTS TO BENEFIT FROM ROAD DEVELOPMENT
A $2.6m government project currently taking place in the Bua Province will benefit a population of 400 Fijians living there including students.
The Namuavoivoi Unsealed Road project in Nasarawaqa, Bua is 23 kilometers from the Nasarawaqa main road with two villages and one settlement in between.
Government’s Provincial Administrator in the Bua Province Inoke Tagicakibau said the conditions of the road made it impossible for the public to use. He added that works carried out on the road will allow the public living around it to easily access nearby towns and basic amenities including health services and schools.
“This road is the shortcut to Kubulau towards Savusavu and also to Wainunu in Bua.”
Mr Tagicakibau said the only form of transportation used by Fijians living here are buses and carriers. The past conditions of the road often made travel difficult for the villagers especially those living in Namuavoivoi village.
The project is expected to complete in November this year under the Fiji Roads Authority.
4 NEW BRIDGE TO LINK NASUVA TO SCHOOLS AND MARKETS
The construction of a new bridge and road in Nasuva in Seaqaqa, Macuata will benefit more than 20 households living here.
This latest project in the North will bring to end years of struggle for the families that live here especially students and farmers who often face difficulty in accessingschools and markets.
Government’s Acting District Officer in Seaqaqa Kalivati Rabuka said the project was initiated through the Office of the Commissioner Northern.
Mr Rabuka said the project was carried after villagers highlighted that school children were not able to cross the river during adverse weather conditions.
He added that the new road and new bridge should benefit farmers who often face difficulties in transporting their produce to nearby markets in towns.
“The source of income for these villagers are dalo, yaqona, pineapple and also their pine trees for logging so this is a major boost for them”, Rabuka said.
46 year old Litia Tagimai said this latest project is a welcomed move after years of waiting.
“We are grateful to the government for their assistance especially during flooding when we cant cross to the other side”, Tagimai said.
Ms Tagimai said with the new bridge they are also able to transport their crops to theSeaqaqa and Labasa Market.
5 TRAINING TO STRENTHEN LEADERSHIP CAPACITY
The Public Service Commission in its commitment to achieve “Excellence in Public Service Delivery” conducted a workshop on Managing Poor Performance.
The workshop targeted at PSC senior and middle managers mainly responsible for identifying the causes of poor performance and managing employee performance issues.
The main aim was to enable officers at a supervisory level to be exposed to best practices and processes in the management of poor performance, and seek clarifications on their roles and responsibilities in managing poor employee performance.
Moreover, the workshop provided a platform for discussion on collaborative actions in the best interest of the Public Service.
The workshop was held from September 3 to 4 at the Centre for Training and Development, Nasese and was facilitated by Subhash Appana from the Centre for Vocational and Continuing Education at the University of the South Pacific.
Twenty-eight participants from different ministries and departments attended the course.
6 MINISTER LOOKS TO WOMEN TO PROMOTE YOUTH ISSUES
The Minister of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni has commended the Dorcas Welfare Organisation for its commitment towards the welfare of the poor.
The organisation is a welfare arm of the Seventh Day Adventist Church that has 28 districts in the country.
Its main role is to enhance Women’s Ministry Health, help people in need and families during times of disaster with clothing, food, donation and house repairs.
The minister encouraged the women to also focus on young people when carrying out their work.
“Nothing is more challenging than a young life. If you look around in your communities, today’s youth face a lot of challenges with modernisation rushing in problems like premarital pregnancies, alcohol and drugs, school dropouts, disciplinary problem and peer pressure,” Dr Luveni said.
The minister urged the 200 women gathered at the conference to work with the ministry in its welfare efforts.
“The programmes by the Department of Social Welfare provides help through the various stages of life – from before a child is born, through the Expanded Food Voucher, through childhood via the Care and Protection Allowance, through the Poverty Benefit Scheme and in old age through the bus fare subsidy and Social Pension Scheme.”
Dorcas director Atelini Dakua said the conference encourages women to gather and network among each other from the 28 districts of Dorcas Welfare Organisation.
“We are fortunate the ministry provided a market booth in Suva where our women work through sewing. We have included women from HART (Housing Assistance Relief Trust) who needed help,” Mrs Dakua said.
The organisation has more than 10,000 members.
7 NEW DEVELOPMENT FOR NURSING STUDIES
The Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) has been incorporated into the undergraduate-nursing programme to prepare nurses with relevant knowledge and skills in the area of childcare and treatment.
This will strengthen nurses’ competency level in their one-year internship period.
IMCI is the application of clinical guidelines for the integrated case management of sick children aged five years and younger. It was implemented in all six health centres in the Central Division since 1997 but was only carried out by doctors and not nurse.
This latest development means nurses are certified to diagnose diseases among children below five years and can medically treat children to take the load off doctors.
The provision of IMCI services from nursing station level will mean, travelling miles to get to the doctor for our children five-years- old and younger, particularly in the remote/rural areas will be a worry of the past.
Ministry of Health continues to train and certify nurses to deliver this service, most of whom will operate from Nursing Stations, Health Centres and Sub-divisional Hospital General Out-patients Departments.
IMCI medications and medical consumables are readily made available at nursing station level and the Fiji Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Services is working hard to facilitate the distribution of relevant supplies.
The roll-out of this programme will be facilitated in phases beginning in the Central and Northern Divisions from mid-September and this will be followed by the Western and Eastern Divisions respectively by the end of October.
Members of the public, particularly in the Central & Northern Divisions, are advised to visit your nearest nursing station or health center to seek medical assistance for your 0 to 5 year old children for any childhood illness.
8 NAKASI HART WOMEN UNDERGO IGP TRAINING
More women are being encouraged through training in income-generating projects to sustain their livelihoods.
10 women from Nakasi Hart are undergoing a three-week training programme for sewing through the facilitation of the Fiji Girl Guides Association and funded by the Ministry of Women.
The Director of Women Arieta Moceica pleaded with women to make use of the opportunity provided by the Fiji Girl Guides Association and government’s efforts in promoting women’s issues.
“We are looking at strengthening the relationship and the support given to the Fiji Girl Guides Association because you look after two very critical groups which are women and the girl child groups,” Mrs Moceica said.
“This is support not only through income-generating projects, but to look into the areas of advocacy and lobbying we can help strengthen the Fiji Girl Guides with.”
With the leadership of the minister and this Government Mrs Moceica assured issues of women and the girl child will continue to get the priority it has been receiving.
She highlighted to women the increase of the Budget allocation to the Women’s Plan of Action from the recent $200,000 that was received in 2004 to 2005 to the $1.2m the ministry now receives.
“From 2009 to 1st quarter 2014, we have funded more than 203 income generating projects and literacy trainings provided. There are 60 resource centers opened in Fiji providing women space for meetings, economic empowerment and to develop their core product,” Mrs Moceica said.
Fiji Girl Guides Association president, Dr Akanisi Kedrayate acknowledged funding for the trainings by Government and encouraged the women from Nakasi to learn as much as they could from the trainings.
Single mother, Paulini Bote, who has spent 10 years at the Nakasi Hart said she was privileged to be one of the women chosen to participate in the three-week long programme.
“It has been challenging being the soul bread winner in the family, and I am grateful for this chance to learn the skill of sewing in the hope to set up my business to help support my family,” Ms Bote said.
The Fiji Girl Guides Association received $5000 from Ministry of Women for the three-week programme which will culminate in a display of the crafts produced by the women.
9 NEW RECREATION FACILITY FOR ELDERLY HOME
Members of the Samabula Senior Citizens Home were overjoyed with the opening of their new recreation facility today.
Minister for Health, Dr Neil Sharma opened the $65,000 recreation centre and emphasised government’s efforts in caring for the elderly in society.
Mr. Sharma said according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Report, Fiji’s population of people over the age of 60 will double by 8 to 16 per cent with more people requiring care in such facilities.
“In response to this, a strategy the ministry has undertaken is to foster age friendly environment and to promote healthy aging and wellness across the life course and prevent functional decline and decrease diseases amongst elderly people,” Dr Sharma said.
“Ministry of Health will continue to advocate the welfare of senior citizens through theNational Council of Older Persons..
“The facility will not only benefit the occupants of the home but will become a focus point where other elderly people can mix and mingle with residents and come in on a day-to-day basis and enjoy the company of each other.”
In addition, Mr. Sharma said they had negotiated with the Ministry of Women and Social Welfare, Poverty Alleviation to assist with the provision of programmes forsenior citizens at this facility.
Dr Sharma acknowledged the concerted efforts of the board members, corporate bodies, organisations and generous individuals who have contributed financially to the construction of the facility.
Board of Visitors president Muhammed Maqbool thanked Government and the many organisations for the support and commitment throughout the past two years.
Ms Ani Rokula an 81-year-old occupant of the home expressed how she felt about the facility.
“It is great we have a separate facility just for social activities apart from our dormitories and this will definitely make us feel a lot happier,” Ms Rokula said.
Recreational and social activity at the centre will include light physical exercises, dance, art and craft and other occupational and rehabilitation activities.
10 WORK BEGINS ON BAU CENTRAL COLLEGE ESTABLISHMENT
It was a historic day for the people of Mokani village yesterday as they witnessed the beginning of Phase 1 works on the establishment of the new Bau Central College in Tailevu.
Villagers and Ratu Ravuama Memorial School students gathered at the new secondary school site at Mokani village to witness the first load of soil filling at the construction spot.
Phase 1 of the project, which has a budgetary allocation of $1.3million, will see the new school land area being filled with soil toprevent it from becoming boggy during heavy rain.
School committee member, Tikilaci Vuibau, 59, said it was a huge relief to see works on the new Bau Central College successfully kickoff.
Mr Vuibau said the construction of the school would mean that students coming out of Bau Primary School, Cautata Primary School, Ratu Ravuama Memorial School and Dravo District will no longer have to travel toNausori for secondary education.
“Nausori is too far for our children. Some children even come from as far as Viwa and Bau island and there is only one school bus going from here to Nausori. Most of the students also miss classes because of lateness to school and transport problems,” Mr Vuibau said.
Mr Vuibau said Bau Central College will be at the centre of the four primary schools in Tailevu, which would be at a walking distance for some students.
“Parents and students will save a lot on bus fare, which is about 85 cents one way, while other students will not have to travel long distance. We have been told that construction will start next year and we will have three Year 9 forms when the school will open its doors.
“We are very happy now that development has started. This means a lot to us because we know that our children will be better educated and they will be good future leaders of Fiji,” Mr Vuibau said.
Ministry of Education deputy secretary Primary and Secondary Section, Saimoni Waibuta said Phase 1 will be completed in 28 weeks, which will be undertaken by RFMF engineers.
“We have compiled our submission for Phase 2, which will hopefully take place next year. The construction will entail a double storey building, teachers’ quarters and an ablution block. We are targeting for it to be completed by 2016. The community is expecting us to fast track all thesedevelopments; the sooner the better for them,” Mr Waibuta said.
Mr Waibuta said this development is part of the ministry’s major capital projects which comes under Education for Disadvantaged Areas (EDA) category.
“We are taking the development of schools to rural and remote areas. Currently, the secondary schools the students here attend areSila Central and Lelean Memorial School. With the establishment of Bau Central College, students from primary schools in surrounding areas will have easier access to a secondary school.”
Mr Waibuta said the new Bau Central College will cater for 400-500 students in Tailevu.
“We are looking at spending about another $2million for the second phase so the total cost of this capital project will be more than $3million.”
11 AGRICULTURE MINISTRY BRIEF FARMERS ON PREVENTATIVE MEASURES FOR DRY SPELL
The Ministry of Agriculture is working closely with farmers in the central division to ensure their crops are not affected during the dry season.
The Ministry’s Principal Agriculture officer in the central division Tepola Seniloli highlighted that the ministry is organising programs to allow farmers to learn how they can look after their crops during this period.
“We have agricultural teams that have been visiting farms and have noticed that the dry season is affecting dalo plantations and vegetables,” Mrs Seniloli said.
“Areas in Tailevu south and irrigation farms in Lakena in Nausori are facing the effects of the dry spell where drains are slowly drying up.”
Nausori rice farmer Anup Chandra said that while the dry spell hasn’t affected his rice fields yet, he has taken on the advice provided by Agriculture.
“I am thankful to the Agriculture ministry for providing information on how to look after our crops during this season,” Mr Chandra said.
With the various developments undertaken by government to improve the agricultural sector, Mrs Seniloli said farming is becoming a highly specialized skill and farmers need the proper training and support to effectively carry out their work.
12 AGRICULTURE SHOW TO PROMOTE HEALTHY FIJI
The commencement of the 2014 Agriculture today will highlight the importance of Fiji’s agriculture sector in building a healthy nation.
The first day of the Central Agriculture show in Nausori hosted close to 1000 people to a wide range of agricultural display and services today. Students, business people, stakeholders, farmers, villagers and government officials converged at Syria Park to be part of the annual event.
The Minister for Youth and Sports Viliame Naupoto while officiating as Chief Guest at the three day event reminded Fijians on the role of agriculture sector in ensuring “a healthy and wealthy Fiji”.
“It also reminds us that in our pursuit for sustainable family farming for food, nutrition and livelihood security, we must also remember the need to maintain a balance of healthy and wealthy sustainable biodiversity in terms of environment, soil, marine life, fauna and flora,” Minister Naupoto said.
“The show will be an important information platform to promote agriculture as an important earner, profession, lucrative business and source of healthy living especially to our school children, women and youth,” he said.
The Minister highlighted that Government will continue to strive to enhance food production and income security, achieve quick economic growth and reduce poverty through the sustainable management of Fiji’s natural resource.
The Ministry’s Principal Agricultural officer Central Tepola Seniloli said the show was also an opportunity for Fijians, especially farmers to earn an income from selling their farm produce.
“This year’s theme, “Sustainable family farming for Food, Nutrition and Livelihood Security” recognises the vital role of family farming, fisheries and foresters in our communities,” Mrs Seniloli said.
“We need to encourage sustainable family farming in our own homes to promote healthy living amongst our children which will improve nutrition,” Mrs Seniloli said.
For Ilivani Draunimakita of Nakorotubu in Ra, participating in the agriculture show as a farmer has opened new market opportunities.
“I have been marketing our honey products in the last three agriculture shows in the western division and it has been helpful in terms of selling our products to alot of people,” Mrs Draunimakita said.
“This show is platform for farmers to improve their yield in terms of production and helps them financially,” she said.