1. SUGAR MILLS TO DIVERSIFY PRODUCTION – The recent reforms undertaken by Fiji’s Sugar Industry will soon be diversified into ethanol production and power generation says Ministry of Sugar permanent secretary Mr Manasa Vaniqi.
2. CLIMATE CHANGE STEERING COMMITTEE MEETS IN NADI – Pacific regional climate change experts are currently meeting in Nadi to discuss challenges and a way forward for implementation of national climate change initiatives at the regional level.
3. GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABLE USE OF ENERGY – Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities Mr Timoci Natuva will be commissioning a solar project at Waimaqera settlement in Taveuni later this week.
4. RURAL AND MARITIME COMMUNITIES TO ACCESS BETTER WATER SUPPLY – People living in rural and maritime areas will soon receive better water supply and sanitation under the Rural, Outer Island and Maritime Scheme currently being undertaken by the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF).
1. SUGAR MILLS TO DIVERSIFY PRODUCTION
The recent reforms undertaken by Fiji’s Sugar Industry will soon be diversified into ethanol production and power generation says Ministry of Sugar permanent secretary Mr Manasa Vaniqi.
Mr Vaniqi said ethanol fuel can be made from sugar cane which can be used to replace the use of gasoline in vehicles while processing cane bagasse produces biogas which can be used to generate electricity.
“We have been producing raw sugar alone for more than a hundred years and it is about time we diversify into other bi-products like making ethanol and creating power from cane biogases,” Mr Vaniqi said.
Mr Vaniqi said the recommendation to diversify into bi-products came about as result of reforms in the Fiji Sugar Industry also known as the 2013-2017 Sugar Cane Industry Strategic Action Plan replacing the New Zealand based Deloitte Report.
“Through diversifying into other cane bi-products we will not be relying solely on sugar,” he added.
Mr Vaniqi highlighted that the Ministry has already undertaken awareness on plans for the production of fuel from sugarcane bi-products in the sugar cane belt of Fiji.
“Awareness programs on the issues have been conducted in Rakiraki, Ba, Lautoka and Nadroga where farmers were explained about ethanol production and producing power biogas which will be sold to the Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA),” Mr Vaniqi said.
2. CLIMATE CHANGE STEERING COMMITTEE MEETS IN NADI
Pacific regional climate change experts are currently meeting in Nadi to discuss challenges and a way forward for implementation of national climate change initiatives at the regional level.
The Steering Committee for the Regional Programme Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region (CCCPIR) with a budget of over 19 million Euros ($FJ46.9million) is tasked to ensure that the climate change programme objectives at the regional level are achieved.
The programme “Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region (CCCPIR)” is a regional development programme implemented in partnership by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), South Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP) and the German International Cooperation (GIZ) for the benefit of selected Pacific Island Countries.
Countries participating in the programme include Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
To implement activities under the Programme successfully, a steering structure with elements at the regional and at the national levels is required to oversee the following:
· Overseeing and validating the overall direction of the Programme;
· Giving guidance to programme and annual work plans, where necessary;
· Assessing programme monitoring reports received from National Steering Committees and regional partner agencies and providing feedback;
· Approving annual work plan for regional activities.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs director Political and Treaties and Fiji’s representative to the forum, Mr Esala Nayasi said Fiji has been a beneficiary of the funding which has enabled the Ministry to works towards climate change mitigation and adaptation.
“Through the partnership we (Fiji) has been able to advance issues regarding climate change and these include the Fiji REDD+ Policy, the National Climate Change Policy including an implementation framework, Fiji iTaukei Climate Change Glossary – declared official translation document for Ministry of Education and many others,” Mr Nayasi said.
“Work continues to be done on other mitigation and awareness fronts such as the Fiji National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and the Draft National Curriculum Framework.”
3. GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABLE USE OF ENERGY
Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities Mr Timoci Natuva will be commissioning a solar project at Waimaqera settlement in Taveuni later this week.
The Minister, who will be in Taveuni from July 4-5 to inspect capital projects currently being undertaken by the Ministry and its co-operate bodies, highlighted the Government funded ‘1000 Solar Projects’ supports the commitment to providing sustainable energy to all Fijians.
“As part of Government’s 1000 solar projects, 603 are designated for Vanua Levu, while the remaining 397 are installed in Viti Levu, Cikobia, Rotuma and Taveuni,” Mr Natuva said.
“This move by the Department of Energy demonstrates a firm conviction that access to sustainable energy is critical to achieving economic and social development targets outlined in the Millennium Development Goal.”
Mr Natuva added the project supports Governments’ roadmap to democracy that is articulated in pillar five of the People’s Charter for Change which is achieving higher economic growth while ensuring sustainability.
The Waimaqera settlement is a farming community which is 10kilometres inland with close to 200 homes.
Mr Natuva said this would be the first time for this community to receive any form of electricity.
“Previously this settlement only relied on kerosene lamps and generators,” Mr Natuva added.
Meanwhile, since 2006, the Department of Energy has commissioned a total of 4000 solar projects around the country.
4. RURAL AND MARITIME COMMUNITIES TO ACCESS BETTER WATER SUPPLY
People living in rural and maritime areas will soon receive better water supply and sanitation under the Rural, Outer Island and Maritime Scheme currently being undertaken by the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF).
The scheme is carrying out 413 major projects and 10 minor projects in the rural and maritime areas in order to effectively and efficiently meet consumer demands.
Northern Divisional Water engineer Mr Romuluse Mataitoga said majority of the projects undertaken are self help schemes whereby one tenth contribution is provided by the community.
“The standard of water supplied under this scheme to those in rural areas would be the same as that delivered to the urban areas,” Mr Mataitoga said.
“Our initiative is to provide a clean, reliable and improved piped water supply to consumers in these communities.”
For the second quarter, the WAF has completed water works in Valelawa settlement outside Labasa at a total cost of $153,500. This project is expected to benefit 30 families living in this settlement.
Mr Mataitoga said other similar projects are ongoing in the rural and maritime areas and WAF is optimistic of completing these by end of this year despite unfavourable weather conditions.
Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities Mr Timoci Natuva during his recent tour to the North visited some of the projects that are being undertaken by WAF.