While decisions and declarations in Suva are seemingly made around the kava bowl, ordinary things are going on in Labasa - the traffic lights don't work, there are not many fish at the market, and people struggle on to live their lives as gracefully as possible. One newspaper, short of stories from the capital, have little stories from the Friendly North. Vina'a va'alevu Fiji Sun journo.
Concern over lights
The only traffic light at the main crossing in the middle of Labasa Town has not been working for the past few months. That means pedestrians have a longer wait before they get a chance to cross the road.
One pedestrian, Ratu Iliesa Kationivere, said he got very frustrated waiting for endless minutes at the crossing for the vehicles to give to people wanting to cross the road. “This is the busiest time as parents come with their children to buy school stationery,” Ratu Iliesa said. He said it had been many months since the traffic lights had been covered over.
A Namara resident, Rohitesh Raj, said many times he had seen people with disabilities facing great difficulty trying to cross the road because no one paid them any attention. “When the traffic light was working they just pressed the stop button and after a short wait vehicles would stop,” he said. He said people put their lives at risk trying to cross the road there now. Mr Raj said it would be better if a policeman was stationed there until the lights were repaired.
And another story about a man living at Tuatua housing in Labasa although the heading of the article is a bit of a spin.
Williams supports State reforms
Former Labasa mayor Lesile Williams supports Government’s reform programmes.
Mr Williams, 81, lives in Tuatua Housing outside Labasa Town. “When I look at what Government is doing to develop our country, I remember the days when I was the Labasa Town mayor,” he said. He said Government’s work on building new roads, bridges, and schools made people’s lives better. “It is good to hear that the plight of people living in interior areas is considered by Government,” he said.
Mr Williams was born in Levuka, Ovalau on August 14, 1929.
He said serving as a mayor had been challenging. He was sworn-in as Labasa mayor on October 21, 2006. “Many times my councillors refused to listen to me and walked out the door leaving me sitting alone in the meeting. Sometimes I did not know what to do and felt like stepping down. My grandmother, Adi Sauca Lalabalavu used to tell me to never give up easily and always face challenges,” he said.
Mr William is now retired and spends most of his time doing backyard gardening.
“I feel peace at home and very grateful to God for giving me supportive children who look after me well now,” he said.