Bits and pieces relevant to Vanua Levu were in today's news - from more help to Cikobia, re-thinking about qoliqoli, to a dream-on workshop, a muck-up at Labasa hospital, (cartoon) and a trip by interim leaders. Hmmm. There's so much 'dream-on' talk but who is really gettin' on with the plantin' of food crops and fixin' the roads, etc. etc. etc. as the King of Siam once said (in a film version of course).
A letter to the Fiji Times editor complained about waiting at Labasa hospital with a chest pain while all and sundry were at the Labasa airport going through a drill of a small disaster - but it wasn't real!
GOOD TO HELP THESE VILLAGERS AS THE CROPS TAKE TIME TO GROW.
More Daman relief reaches Cikobia
3-Apr-2008 09:57 AM THIRTY-six families in Cikobia that were affected by cyclone Daman have received additional farming assistance from the Ministry of Primary Industries through its Cikobia Rehabilitation Programme. A team of agricultural officers from the northern division led by the Principal Agriculture Officer (Northern), Ilaitia Naigani visited the island last week to hand out the farming implements to the affected families.
After a survey done by agriculture officials, a report was tabled to the Disaster Management Committee (DISMAC) who then submitted it to the Cabinet. Naigani said that the assistance worth $19,000 would benefit the families as they only plant for food security. “After cyclone Daman hit Cikobia Island, the ministry acted quickly and handed out to the families, kumala planting materials in January which have already been planted and is growing well on the island,” he said. “With the assistance that we have been granted, we purchased more root-crop planting materials, knapsack sprayers, vegetable seeds and fertiliser,” he added. Naigani said since the families live far off from the main land, they would only concentrate on rehabilitating their farms and food gardens for their own consumption. “These families only plant for their needs and the Cikobia Rehabilitation Programme is part of the Agriculture Department’s Vision of providing food and income security for all,” explained Naigani.
Recipients of the assistance were happy and will begin their farming activities after training courses with the agriculture extension staff. Headman of Vuninuku Village, Mesulame Ratulevu was happy that they were now able to plant a variety of produce for their family meals. The Agriculture Department would also be working with the Coconut Industry Development Authority (CIDA) in assisting the families on the island with a coconut nursery.
NOW ABOUT FISHING OFF THE COAST - IT'S RELEVANT BECAUSE THE GUYS ON THE SUPER-SIZE FISHING BOATS SNEAK INTO THE ONSHORE REEF AREAS TO CLEAN UP THE FISH FOR THEIR BAIT. BUT THE FEE SHOULDN'T APPLY TO SMALL LOCAL FISHING ENTERPRISES IN MY OPINION.
From Fiji radio
A $20,000 entry fee imposed on companies buying marine resources from Macuata has been put on hold. A province qoliqoli committee shocked many earlier this year when it imposed a $20,000 entry fee into Macuata fishing grounds. Tui Macuata, Ratu Aisea Katonivere says they are carrying out discussions with the Fiji Trade and Investment Board on the issue of business licenses. Ratu Aisea says these buyers are one of the reasons behind over-fishing in provincial waters. “Well FTIB issues their business licenses. It’s the fisheries that give the licence. But with them having the money up here it causes the people to go and over-fish and over extract so the element of control is minimum because we have no other alternative so it will be a catch 22 situation,” he added. Ratu Aisea adds marine protected areas have made Macuata waters the richest in the country and that could easily change if controls are not placed on over-fishing.
EXPECT MORE LATER ON ABOUT THIS TOUR
Interim ministers on North tour
Thursday, April 03, 2008
TWO interim ministers will visit the north today but on different schedules.
While the interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will visit government departments and the Labasa Hospital, interim Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry will visit cane farmers in the Labasa area. Mr Chaudhry is expected to arrive by plane this morning while Commodore Bainimarama will arrive at Nabouwalu by boat. Commissioner Northern Inia Seruiratu said Commodore Bainimarama would visit areas in the provinces of Bua, Macuata and Cakaudrove. "It's a tour of the division and he is also interested in seeing the much talked about road conditions in the division," Mr Seruiratu said.
Commodore Bainimarama is expected to visit the Public Works Department depot at Nabouwalu after arriving by boat and is expected to be at the Labasa Hospital later in the afternoon. He will also pay a visit to Labasa Town councillors and have a brief discussion with them on development issues. Commodore Bainimarama is expected to visit Seaqaqa, Batiri and Savusavu areas on Friday before returning to Suva on Saturday. NFU executive Rosan Lal said the farmers were all looking forward to the visit by Mr Chaudhry.
AND A DREAM-ON WORKSHOP AND WHAT IS THIS WORD 'BELONGINGNESS"?
Learn new ways, chief saysSERAFINA SILAITOGA
Thursday, April 03, 2008
TUI Macuata Ratu Aisea Katonivere yesterday told participants of a community based workshop that there was a need to learn new ways of understanding people of many races, cultures and religions. His comments come as participants at the 'Sustained Dailogue on Identity and Belongingness in Fiji' workshop were encouraged to work towards finding a sense of belongingness and identity for the people of Fiji.
"We need to seriously survey the landscape of our mindsets and entrench patterns of interaction from which we view ourselves as insiders and outsiders," he said.
"Today, we can begin to recognise and acknowledge the challenges that threaten to blight our efforts of becoming a people and of building a common destiny." He encouraged participants to use the seminar as a platform of bringing people together to build a better Fiji. "This opportunity can be an opportunity for us to use to increase dialogue about issues related to identity and belongingness in Fiji. "We readily accept ethnic separateness as normal part of our national life in a way that our mutual fears and distrust have become greater than the risks of forging real bonds of friendship, collaboration and unity," Ratu Aisea said. He told the participants that after having four coups in Fiji, acknowledging fear in the community amongst people was more then enough reason to experience. "Our responses to issues that deeply divide us have been more the classic mode of fight or flight but hardly dialogue or we sit and wait for others to do the talking for us or even wait for others to facilitate space for us to talk like such seminars," Ratu Aisea said.
University of the South Pacific's Professor Vijay Naidu said that in this time of globalisation, there was a need for national harmony and stability to take Fiji forward for the benefit of all its citizens. "All leaders have special responsibility in promoting a more inclusive sense of the nation that goes beyond ethnic exclusiveness. "We have many identities and we belong to many groups and the possibility of making choices about which identity we use depends on us," Professor Naidu said. The three-day workshop at the Saint Mary's hall in Labasa ends tomorrow.