1. FLNKS COMMENDS FIJI’S LEADERSHIP – The incoming chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group has commended its predecessor– Fiji for the hard work done in putting MSG where it belongs.
2. WEST PAPUA ISSUE IN MSG AGENDA – The 19th Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders summit has integrated into its agenda the issue of the movement of West Papua.
3. NAVIAVIA COMMUNITY DEFIES ALL ODDS TO LIGHT UP WITH SOLAR ENERGY – The commissioning of 1000 solar home project by Government yesterday has lighted up a community in Naviavia settlement in Savusavu.
4. HEALTH FOCUS ON PREVENTING LEPTOSPIROSIS – The Ministry of Health has highlighted that prevention is paramount as far as leptospirosis is concerned.
1. FLNKS COMMENDS FIJI’S LEADERSHIP
The incoming chair of the Melanesian Spearhead Group has commended its predecessor– Fiji for the hard work done in putting MSG where it belongs.
FLNKS representative and incoming chair for Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM) Caroline Manchoro said work done by Fiji under Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s leadership is worth praising.
“I must commend Fiji’s leadership of the MSG in the way it has strengthened the solidarity within the region and internationally as well. I thank Prime Minister Hon. Voreqe Bainimarama for his vision to put the MSG where it is today.” ” Ms Manchoro said.
She said issues such as the strengthening of police, knowledge sharing and climate change has only been possible through Fiji’s leadership.
“Fiji has initiated a lot of institutional and regional issues pertaining to MSG countries and has increased the influence of Melanesia in the region,” Ms Manchoro said.
“Without Fiji, I think it would have taken longer to achieve what Melanesia has done.”
Ms Manchoro has vowed to continue the good work done by Fiji in the best interest of the MSG.
“We (FLNKS) will continue the efforts, initiatives and projects that have begun and we will try our utmost best to strengthen the results already achieved by Fiji.”
Meanwhile, the MSG countries have given their support to FLNKS for chairing the sub – regional group for the next two years.
Ms Manchoro said FLNKS is grateful for the confidence shown by MSG countries.
“The FLNKS is very overwhelmed by the support given to us by other member states of the MSG,” Ms Manchoro said.
“We have been given the assurance that each country will continue to assist and help us during our term as chair of this very important bloc in the region.”
2. WEST PAPUA ISSUE IN MSG AGENDA
The 19th Melanesian Spearhead Group Leaders summit has integrated into its agenda the issue of the movement of West Papua.
Incoming chair and FLNKS representative at the Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM) Caroline Manchoro said currently MSG’s stand is only to assess and monitor.
“We will be looking, assessing and monitoring regularly to find a solution to the West Papua issue,” Ms Manchoro said.
“But we have to keep in mind the issue relating to West Papua due to the bilateral relations between countries that are concerned.”
Ms Manchoro said under FLNKS chairmanship, no decision would be made that endangers the bilateral relations of MSG member countries.
“We (FLNKS) have to make sure that the decision taken does not jeopardize the relations among countries including the solidarity of MSG,” Ms Manchoro added.
Fiji and Papua New Guinea stance in dealing with the West Papua issue is to include Indonesia in any discussions undertaken on the matter due to it being a sovereign state.
More discussions on the issue will be undertaken when the Leaders Summit proper begins on Thursday.
3. NAVIAVIA COMMUNITY DEFIES ALL ODDS TO LIGHT UP WITH SOLAR ENERGY
The commissioning of 1000 solar home project by Government yesterday has lighted up a community in Naviavia settlement in Savusavu.
Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities Timoci Natuva, while commissioning the site acknowledged the community for their efforts in ensuring development.
“The Fijian government has a mandate to regard everyone as Fijians. I want to thank all people in Naviavia for supporting government and ensuring that development is prioritized for the benefit of our children,” Minister Natuva said.
“We want to encourage youths to utilize their time and utilize idle land for agriculture to assist their families financially.”
Minister Natuva highlighted the families will now be saving $22 per month which would otherwise be used to buy kerosene or batteries.
He added the monetary savings can now be diverted to other productive uses such as health or education needs of each family.
Naviavia village community head man Marika Sade said this is the first time for the village to access proper electricity in 71 years since their forefathers settled on the land.
“We are so proud of this incentive provided by government and we know that this will assist our children in their education” Mr Sade said.
The farming community of Naviavia has 49 households and a school that caters for classes one to eight.
Mr Sade said with high cost of living, the solar energy project will greatly motivate their children to strive for excellence in education.
“Before we spent about $11 to buy four litres of kerosene and diesel for our generators to generate power so our children can study or for cooking in the afternoon but we will now save that amount,” Mr Sade said.
The Naviavia community has contributed close to $2,500 for this project and government has invested close to $96,000 as part of its commitment in ensuring development in rural and maritime areas.
4. HEALTH FOCUS ON PREVENTING LEPTOSPIROSIS
The Ministry of Health has highlighted that prevention is paramount as far as leptospirosis is concerned.
Dr Mike Kama, while representing the Health Ministry during a talkback show session yesterday on Radio Fiji Gold, said it is vital to maintain personal environmental sanitation in order to avoid cases of leptospirosis.
“It has to come from each individual in the community. Fencing domesticated animals away from homes, keeping homes clean, using personal protective gear when going out in the fields and covering up of wounds is very important,” Dr Kama said.
Dr Kama told listeners that symptoms of leptospirosis vary and ranges from mild flu type symptoms to worse conditions that require admission to hospital for treatment.
“Symptoms such as the yellow colouring of the body and feeling sick or some may get severely sick. Some of them (people) tend to end up in the intensive care unit and some are quite fatal which could lead to haemorrhage and could cause death,” Dr Kama said.
He said globally, between five to 10 per cent of cases diagnosed with leptospirosis tend to go into fatality but this has not yet been ascertained in Fiji.
Dr Kama said the health ministry is seriously working on raising awareness on the transmission of this disease.
“We have a prevention and control program for Fiji. There is funding set aside by the ministry and by Government for this. We also have an outbreak response team working together to undertake this activity concertedly,” Dr Kama said.
“The response team works on thematic areas for this control program which includes surveillance and research, clinical management, prevention and control, coordination and communication and monitoring and evaluation.”