Two items from Vanua Levu - and the Look North policy (I don't mean China - I mean Vanua Levu) - one is at Seaqaqa and they say an answer to their prayer and fasting... Has the infrastructure already been put in place to actually deliver on lights etc.? Villagers of Naravuka will have electricity so that is excellent. They are saying that the turbine generates power and also pumps water for irrigation, aquaculture, sanitation etc. Sounds marvellous. The water turbine was designed by Australian businessman Warren Tyson, who is in Macuata to supervise the installation and tests. The project is being implemented by the National Centre for Small and Micro-Enterprises Development (NCSMED), to support enterprise promotion in the Northern Development Programme and was funded by a donation from AusAID in Australia.
The other story is about the terrible state of the road at Lomaloma which has caused a dreadful accident. All the talk of bringing development to Vanua Levu is just hot air if they can't fix that road between Labasa and Savusavu!
from Fiji Times
Fasting ends with village power supply
Thursday, February 19, 2009
A VILLAGE river that was a picnic and common washing spot for villagers of Naravuka in the north will today become a mini hydro for 47 families in supplying free electricity generated from the village river. Yesterday the village men were out in the river to install the turbine, which is believed to be the first in the area of Seaqaqa, Macuata.
And the villagers believe the free electricity supply that was brought to their doorsteps in June last year by the Northern Development Program office in Labasa was a result of their three months fasting and praying.
Village assistant headman Rusiate Vunibureta said the village had just completed its three months fasting when officers from NDP visited them and informed them about the turbine to generate electricity to the village.
Mr Vunibureta said the officers told him they needed a river to test the turbines. He said they accepted the plea with no hesitation because it was a blessing from God and a need the villagers have longed for over past years. Mr Vunibureta said students would greatly benefit as the electricity supply would help with study periods and ironing of uniforms.
The project, worth more than $10,000 was donated by the Australian Government through the National Centre for Small and Micro-Enterprises Development and its north branch NDP.
NCSMED chief executive officer Savenaca Nacanaitaba said such projects to the community would bring about a lot of benefits to the villagers.
"We are pleased to support a community in developing a sustainable source of energy and to transfer this technology to Vanua Levu," Mr Nacanaitaba said.
"We believe that the provision of low-cost power will expand options open to people in rural areas to develop their resources to create wealth and improve their lives, using tools and modern conveniences we often take for granted in the cities and towns."
The Second story....
also by the Labasa journalist, Serafina.
Passenger dies as excavator falls on vans
By SERAFINA SILATOGA
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
A MAN was crushed to death and three people admitted to hospital with serious injuries after an excavator fell on their cars yesterday. Dead is Vikash Chand, 24, an employee of Labasa's Makan's Drugs and Pharmaceutical Supplies. Two of the injured were passengers in Chand's vehicle while the third was in a Colgate Palmolive van behind the Makan's Drugs car.
Police spokesman Atunaisa Sokomuri said the vans were travelling to Savusavu along the well-known S-Bend at Seaqaqa, Macuata when the excavator, loaded on a 10-wheeler truck, slipped and crushed the vehicles.
"The driver of the 10-wheeler lost control, considering the weight and the bend it had to negotiate, and the excavator slipped and hit the vehicles," Mr Sokomuri said, adding they have not determined if the excavator was properly bound to the tray of the truck.