1. NAUPOTO COMMITS TO YOUTH EMPOWERMENT – Minister for Youth and Sports, Commander Viliame Naupoto told youths of Naitasiri that young people need to explore and utilize the potential and values that exist within them.
2. NARIKOSO VILLAGE TO BE RELOCATED – A government team is making preliminary assessments for the relocation of Narikoso Village in Kadavu to a new site. According to the Mata ni Tikina, Kelepi Saukitoga, sea level rise had become a significant fact of life for Narikoso villagers after the continual receding of shoreline since early as 1960s.
3. FIJI PRESENTS CHALLENGES ON TRANSNATIONAL CRIMES – Fiji being the hub of the Pacific will always be vulnerable to illegal migration, human trafficking smuggling of persons and other related transnational crimes.
4. FIJI DELEGATION MEETS IOM CHIEF – The Fijian Government delegation to the 5th Bali Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime had a bilateral meeting with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), director general William Lacy Swing in Bali, Indonesia.
5. TAKE WARNINGS SERIOUSLY: WEATHER OFFICE WARNS – The National Meteorological Office in Nadi has urged members of the public to take weather warnings seriously because they are meant for people’s safety.
1. NAUPOTO COMMITS TO YOUTH EMPOWERMENT
Minister for Youth and Sports, Commander Viliame Naupoto told youths of Naitasiri that young people need to explore and utilize the potential and values that exist within them.
Commander Naupoto was at Rewasau Village in the interior of Naitasiri to officially close a one week empowerment workshop for the youth of Nabuobuco District.
Youths from the villages of Roma, Nasiriti, Nosoqo and Naqelewai were at Rewasau for the ‘Seeds of Success’ programme organised by the Ministry of Youth.
“This empowerment programme simply is there for you to realize that the key to success lies within you,” Commander Naupoto said.
He urged the youth of Nabuobuco to be more vigilant in supporting the elders in every way because they have in that age a maximum rate of energy and creativity.
“Channel that energy and creativity in a positive way now for your days of youth are limited,” Commander Naupoto advised.
Waqa Navukula of Nasoqo Village said they were fortunate to go through the programme.
“It has helped us to be more objective and also change our mindset of how we see ourselves,” Waqa said.
The 38 participants, who were overwhelmed to have Commander Naupoto in their midst, were entertained by the National Youth Band.
The band accompanies the minister to similar empowerment programmes where he has been invited to officiate.
Ministry of Youth officials said the support of the ‘vanua’ was overwhelming and to see elders supporting the young ones during the week-long programme was encouraging.
The Minister for Youth and Sports has been travelling around the country to officiate at the ‘Seeds of Success’ empowerment programme.
2. NARIKOSO VILLAGE TO BE RELOCATED
A government team is making preliminary assessments for the relocation of Narikoso Village in Kadavu to a new site.
According to the Mata ni Tikina, Kelepi Saukitoga, sea level rise had become a significant fact of life for Narikoso villagers after the continual receding of shoreline since early as 1960s.
”A consensus was reached to erect a sea wall from rocks and the initial portion along the shoreline was completed with assistance from neighboring villages of Naqara and Waisomo,” Mr Saukitoga said.
A portion of the seawall has been encroached by rising sea level and land area between the sea level and land area between the first row of houses became inundated during normal high tide.
From late 1990s, it became apparent seawalls would not be the sustainable solution to sea level rise and discussions were centred on the current site. The only setback was the topography was steep in most places and needed levelling to ease access for housing and infrastructure development.
Consequently, a request for development of relocation site was considered as a priority and forwarded to the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama during his visit to Kadavu in June 2011.
A series of surveys and site visits were carried out by the RFMF Engineers and consultations continued with the village community on aspects of relocation like land tenure and emotions arising from displacements.
The assessment team includes officials of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs who will be responsible for cultural mapping and boundary demarcation, RFMF Engineers, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Climate Change Unit, Mineral Resources Department, Department of Environment and Housing, National Disaster Management Office, Forestry Department, Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Information.
The RFMF Engineers started with earthworks for the new site in June 28, 2012 at a cost of $200,000.
From late December 2012, the village development committee has had consultations with various government agencies and NGOs seeking advice and possible financing for the development of a relocation site.
3. FIJI PRESENTS CHALLENGES ON TRANSNATIONAL CRIMES
Fiji being the hub of the Pacific will always be vulnerable to illegal migration, human trafficking smuggling of persons and other related transnational crimes.
The Department of Immigration director Nemani Vuniwaqa relayed these challenges while addressing participants at 5th Bali Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime.
“Fiji being the hub of the Pacific, must ensure that our border protection officers are trained and equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to tackle issues regarding people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related transnational crime,” Mr Vuniwaqa said .
“As a hub, Fiji is vulnerable to such illegal migration both as a receiving and transit destination country.”
Mr Vuniwaqa highlighted that Fiji noted and acknowledged the Bali process, other regional organizations such as the Pacific Immigration Directors’ Conference (PIDC), training institutions like the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) and the many training opportunities, workshops, technical officers capacity building programs organized and conducted by Australia and New Zealand in 2011 and 2012.
Mr Vuniwaqa said for Fiji, stakeholders had continuously organized similar workshops at national level, to better address this issue of protecting our borders from transnational crimes.
“Local stakeholders continue to hold workshops and seminars as a strategy to raise awareness amongst the respective stakeholders and members of the public alike,” he said.
The director added the National Plan of Action for the prevention of trafficking in persons and commercial exploitation of children 2011 was drawn up as a national document to show Fiji’s commitment in identifying and prosecuting traffickers and most importantly providing support to victims.
4. FIJI DELEGATION MEETS IOM CHIEF
The Fijian Government delegation to the 5th Bali Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime had a bilateral meeting with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), director general William Lacy Swing in Bali, Indonesia.
The director general noted Fiji‘s interest to become member of the IOM, as the premier international organization on migration issues.
Head of the Fijian delegation, the Department of Immigration director, Nemani Vuniwaqa said given the diverse areas of operations which the IOM was involved with in the area of migration and given Fiji’s geographic position as a hub in the Pacific it would be ideal for Fiji to become a member of the IOM.
“This is because Fiji is a small island developing state that accords certain vulnerabilities to the problems which irregular migration bring,” Mr Vuniwaqa said.
The Department of Immigration, through the Minister for Defence, will in the next few weeks submit a paper to Cabinet for approval to become a member of the IOM.
Accompanying Mr Vuniwaqa to this meeting was the Fiji Police Force’s international relations officer, ASP Ulaiasi Ravula and the Fiji High Commission in Jakarta second secretary Mr Pauliasi Tokasaya.
5. TAKE WARNINGS SERIOUSLY: WEATHER OFFICE WARNS
The National Meteorological Office in Nadi has urged members of the public to take weather warnings seriously because they are meant for people’s safety.
Department of Meteorology director Alipate Waqaicelua made the call as the cyclone season nears its end later this month.
Mr Waqaicelua said people must always be prepared rather than having to make last minute rush.
“People must now understand that climate change is impacting everyday lives and people need to be prepared at all times,” he said.
“We all know the cyclone season is nearing its end but this does not mean we sit on our hands because the changing weather pattern cannot be predicted.”
Mr Waqaicelua added that cyclones, severe flooding and tsunamis had now become more rapid thus the need for extra precautionary measures.
“In our villages and homes please make sure our children, who are most vulnerable to these, are safe. Most of the time we see parents drinking yaqona while children are running around in the rain and swimming in flood waters,” Mr Waqaicelua said.
“Everyone must play their part in ensuring no lives are lost to natural disasters.”
He also cleared the air on the authenticity of information coming out of the weather office in Nadi.
“Our officers are world class weathermen and women and we can be proud of the fact that people serving in the Nadi weather office are on the same standard as those in other bigger countries,” the director said.
“This is evident from the fact that the prediction by the weather office in Nadi on the path of Cyclone Evan last year was accurate.”