Friday, January 27, 2012

Building on sand or rocks

from w
I read that the wharf being built on Bua to ship out the bauxite is in trouble because it's being built on soft sand and rocks have to be shoved down to give some steady ground! Reminds me of the kids song 'The wise man built his house upon the rock' and so on! (Go to a youtube site as follows: ) The barge is already in Vanua Levu to pick up the bauxite - it's at Malau, near Labasa.
From Fiji Sun today:

Bauxite jetty contruction delay
January 28, 2012 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: newsroom

The construction work of the 800-metre wharf including the jetty in the district of Navakasiga, in Bua has been put on hold. The work was supposed to be completed by end of this month and the first shipment was expected to take place next month. However, this work has been delayed not because of bad weather, but other problems.

Acting Roko Tui Bua Jale Sigarara said the local contractor Jaduram Industries Limited has reached the final stage of the construction which needs lots of materials. “The company constructed the jetty from the mainland into the deep sea and only 20 meters is left,” Mr Sigarara said. He said the work was delayed because the company was facing problems. “The company is carrying out the work right into the deep waters and they need to get lot of stones to fill up the jetty,” Mr Sigarara said.

He said the seabed was so soft that the company for many days has been stacking so many stones but it did not seem to settle at one position. “The company has to stock piles of stones because the mud on the seabed is too soft,” Mr Sigarara said.

He said the company has already resorted other means to get the work done. He said the landowners had been informed by the officials that the construction of the jetty would be completed next month. “We have been informed that the work would be done sometimes in February,” Mr Sigarara said. He said the first shipment of bauxite mine to China was expected to take place next month after the completion of the jetty.

Meanwhile, mined bauxite dug out from Naiwailevu has been stockpiled at Baravi, an area near the jetty.

And a couple of weeks ago:

Barge arrives for first soil shipment
Serafina Silaitoga
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A BARGE from China arrived in the country yesterday to take back soil from a bauxite mine in Bua. The barge which anchored at Malau, outside Labasa Town, will take to China the soil already stockpiled at Nawailevu in Bua.

Director of Mineral Resources Malakai Finau confirmed that soil from the bauxite mine had already been piled up awaiting the arrival of the barge. "There is a certain amount of soil that needs to be dug and piled up before the barge can make its way down to Navakasiga in Bua to load the first shipment of soil," he said. "Right now the work at the bauxite mine is well underway with the soil being stockpiled for the first shipment."

Mr Finau said construction work at the new wharf in Navakasiga was almost complete.
A team of government officials is expected to visit the bauxite mining area and the wharf site this week.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Regarding mining in Fiji

from w
I was interested to read one article in the Fiji Sun which is not biased towards a spin view pro mining, so it's worth publishing here. Though it's not about babasiga land, it is relevant to any place in Fiji where a mining company comes into Fiji to make money in this way.

Namosi EIA terms
January 25, 2012 | Filed under: Business | Posted by: newsroom

What Namosi landowers say are drill sumps dug by the Namosi Joint Venture to try and contain the overflow. Photo: Courtesy of TIKINA NAMOSI LANDOWNERS COMMITTEE

While tension continues to build up over the proposed multi-billion dollar Namosi copper and gold mine, the terms of reference for the environmental impact assessment has been finalised.

This has been confirmed to the Fiji Sun by the director of the Department of Environment Jope Davetanivalu.

Mr Davetanivalu, while not revealing the contents of the terms of reference, said the final version has been handed over to the relevant authorities.

The Tikina Namosi Landowners Committee, however, yesterday expressed their concerns about the contents of the terms of reference. Committee spokesman Sipiriano Nariva said they had not expected to receive the final draft until some form of feedback had been sought from the landowners. “We made just one submission and the next thing we were informed was that this is the final terms of reference. We are major stakeholders in this who will be affected should mining go ahead. We need to have our voice taken into consideration,” he said.

Exploration works by the Australian mining company, Newcrest Mining which leads the Namosi Joint Venture in partnership with Japanese interests, have been stopped by the landowners.

Mr Nariva said the reason for their concern was, since their submission for the terms of reference last year, the landowners had gained a better understanding of mining.
He said this was why it was important for the landowners to give more feedback in terms of what more was needed to be included in the terms of reference. Pointing out some of the things believed to be vague in the terms of reference, Mr Nariva said one such line was where it said: ‘Prediction of environmental, social and economic impacts are based on scientifically supported studies’.

Mr Nariva stressed that scientifically supported studies have been proven worldwide to have failed in certain areas. “So why is it that we have to depend on scientifically proven studies,” he said. Another loophole he pointed out in the terms of reference was: ‘A description of the possible environmental and resource management impact of the project’. Mr Nariva said environmental impact cannot and should not be based on possibilities; it has to be precise.

Another section in the terms of reference says there should be a description of all historical and project-related public consultation activities.

To this, Mr Nariva questioned: “For consultations, have they consulted people in the Province of Naitasiri, Rewa and Tailevu? “These are the people who rely on the Waidina River which comes through Namosi and joins the Rewa River. These people use the river for their living and would surely be affected,” he said.

The committee gave as an example of their early concerns how during exploration work the Namosi Joint Venture had dug a sump to dispose toxic waste in and carried on until the landowners pointed it out it was overflowing. They said the Namosi Joint Venture then dug another sump to dispose from the initial one. This led to more spill, the landowners claimed. They said the Namosi Joint Venture then had to bring in waste recyclers to clean up the mess.

To support their views on this the Tikina Namosi Landowners Committee provided a series of photos of what they said is the negative impact of exploration work on their land.

Meanwhile, the Namosi Joint Venture has so far been reluctant to enter into a public debate with the landowners. Instead it has consistently maintained that it is consulting directly with the landowners and Government through a jointly agreed process. It stressed there was an environmental impact assessment process underway.
The assessment process includes extensive consultation with nearby villages and other impacted or interested stakeholders, it said. Proper studies will decide whether a mine can be developed safely and economically and in an environmentally sustainable manner, the Namosi Joint Venture said.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Floods in Labasa, Nadi, Ba regions

from w
While we were enjoying the sunshine with the athletes from Fiji, it was really a large tropical depression in Fiji hitting Vanua Levu with much rain. Our family said that bridges were cut and cars couldn't get through yesterday. Here's one report from the FBC radio:

Residents claim biggest flood ever in Bulileka

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Taken from / By: Faiyaz Khan

Residents in Bulileka Labasa are claiming that the heavy rain in the north has caused the biggest flood ever in their area since three years ago. Torrential rain has been hitting the north since this morning and as Anen Prasad explains, floodwaters have spread across Bulileka and nearby areas. "There's a big flood here in Bulileka. For the last three years, this has to be the largest flood. From Boca Road to Dreketi Lailai, Boubale and Soasoa are all under water and all motorists are stuck. It's a really big flood."

Residents have also been without electricity since early this afternoon.

"Right now where I am sitting I can see the whole of Bulileka, Batinikama there's no power at all in this area. It's all been without power from 4.30pm today."

Pacific Sun was forced to cancel some of its flights to and from the North due to adverse weather conditions experienced there.

Airline spokesman Shane Hussein says some flights to Savusavu, Taveuni and Labasa were cancelled and affected passengers will be accommodated on subsequently scheduled flights to these destinations once weather permits.

One evacuation center has been activated in Labasa as heavy torrential rain and strong winds continue to batter the northern town causing floodwaters to displace a number of residents.

Although no official word has been received from the Disaster Management office, FBC News understands that Daku Bhartiya School is now home to close to 60 people.

We have also received information that Bulileka Secondary School is on standby should residents in surrounding low lying areas need temporary shelter.

But many are hoping conditions will clear up.

FBC Labasa correspondent Mahesh Chand files this report:

"It started raining yesterday and it became heavy and in the afternoon and the wind started blowing and it was very strong. This morning it was raining again and has been like this the whole day and it is still raining now and we experiencing strong winds at the moment. I haven't been out of town but according to my friends there is flood at Suasua Road leading up to Naqiqi side and the the Bulileka near the Army barracks, it is flooded at the moment. Looking at Labasa town there is nothing so far but if it rains heavily whole night, we will probably have floods in Labasa town."

Meanwhile the heavy rain, flooding and landslides have resulted in road closures in the northern division.

The latest update from the Ministry of Works and Transport say that the Vunivesi/Nukubolu road in Savusavu is totally washed away and closed to all traffic, North Coastal Road in Taveuni was hit by a tidal wave however it has been cleared and open to all traffic and the road from Wairiki to Balili was hit by big waves and is closed to all traffic.

In Wainikoro - the road from Mandir Temple to Soasoa flat is under water and close to all traffic.

Urata and Baubale crossing, Dreketilailai crossing and Boca Bridge, Wainidrua in Nakelikoso, Vatunibale junction in Bulileka are all under water and closed to all traffic.

The Siberia low section towards Emily, the Wairiki crossing, Nakama crossing in Naduna, Taganiwaqa crossing in Delaikoro, the Bucalevu crossing, Nakorotari, Waidamudamu, Wailevu Tiri rd and Qaloyaga are all under water and closed to traffic.

A major landslide at the Vesidrua section in Nabouwalu has closed off half the road and the same has happened at the Transinsular Road due to a slip at the Saivou hill.

A landslide has also closed off the Batiri section of the Nabouwalu Road.

The low level crossing at Wailevu West Coast in Savusavu is under water and closed to all traffic and so is the Savudrodro Road.

It is also understood that the new government boat the MV Rogovoka, is stranded in Lomaloma, Vanuabalavu in Lau. The vessel was due to unload cargo in Lakeba today but had to return to Lomaloma because of rough seas and heavy rains.

Report by : Apisalome Coka; Ritika Pratap; Roland Koroi; Indra Singh
a few days later:
the western side of Viti Levu really had severe storm and flood damage - even Tavua, Rakiraki, Ba, Lautoka and Nadi. Once again the onslaught of nature intrudes into the lives of people - often damaging property, frightening people, causing electricity and weater failure and later some associated sickness. Isa, Fiji. Photos are from Ba and Nadi areas.

fiji team last day of Australian Deaf Games

from w
We had a lovely afternoon hosting a barbecue party in our back yard - as the Eastern Beach park was really overcrowded so our backyard had to do. Many members of the Fiji team here in Geelong for the Australian Deaf Games came along and communication went very well with sign language, some speech and a lot of laughs. The visiting young men did most of the barbecue cooking so that was fine. There was kava flowing, prayers using hand signs, and the visitors performed a few mekes. They left our house about 9.30 p.m. and will fly back to Fiji tomorrow.

Friday, January 20, 2012

planes to Vanua Levu

from w
Here's a recent letter from Savusavu complaining about the problem with transport to Vanua levu - planes reliability and so on. Good point that so much money is being used for purchasing new planes for international trips, but what about the local traffic? And the promise of tourists going North! Here is the Letter to the Editor of the Fiji Times.

Look North

I WRITE with great concern for tourism up North, especially Savusavu and Taveuni.

The Look North Policy seems to have taken a 180 degree turn to the South, specifically with regards to tourism.

The situation is so alarming that wholesalers are keeping away from booking tourists up our end.

Tourism here is slowly being crippled and if this trend continues I will not be surprised to see several tourism operators closing their doors. All simply because we do not have a reliable domestic airline service. The current domestic airline service has got to be addressed immediately with instant tangible solutions.

What I find strange is that our national airline has gone about spending $US600million to buy three A330-200 Airbus aircraft.

I'm no expert nor am I an airline executive but doesn't it make sense to first sort out our domestic airline services before even thinking international?

There is something amiss here. I know of a few good reasons but that's for another letter.

By the way this purchase was helped through funding from FNPF to the amount of $200million.

Now why couldn't they simply use $20m of our money to buy five brand new Twin-Otters to keep the domestic service rolling?

What is disturbing most of all is the disregard of the amount of effort and money spent by tourism operators of the north and Tourism Fiji to promote the Northern Tourism Brand. Our promising north is now tarnished by it.

The state of our domestic airline service is at its lowest ever and it seems to be deteriorating by the day.

With all due respect Mr Prime Minister Sir, we have a situation up north that needs your urgent attention. SOS, please, Look North consistently for we have a lot to offer that'll make Fiji prosper.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Fiji athletes at the Deaf Games

from w
The Australian Deaf Games are on this week and there are competitors from Fiji, Samoa, New Zealand as well as Australia. We met some of the Fiji team yesterday when our grandson accidentally met up with them in town wearing their distinctive Fiji Tk-shirts. Despite the different kind of communications required, Epa was able to get them on a local bus and bring them to our home for an hour or so - just a small welcome kava, and then take them to their motel in Newtown. Later some of our family took some food to them and to meet the rest of the Fiji team. This is a good story for Fiji - when a nation looks after and gives opportunities to people who are deaf or with disabilities, then it is on track. At least in a few ways.

From the Geelong Advertiser is the welcome editorial.

EDITORIAL: Perfect setting for Deaf Games
| January 17th, 2012

THE capacity for sport to provide purpose and bring people together is being illustrated in an inspiring fashion in Geelong this week.

Eight hundred athletes are here to participate in the Australian Deaf Games.

Among their number are participants from Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand, which are being represented for the first time in these Games, held every four years.

In addition to the variety of sports being contested, the Games are also a social and cultural event for the deaf community.

Participants and their supporters have picked a delightful week to enjoy the best of Geelong and, more importantly, the pick of our sporting facilities.

From the organising hub of the Games at Deakin University's spectacular Waterfront campus to first-class venues for tennis, cricket, netball, surfing, beach volleyball, lawn bowls and golf, to name but a few, our visitors will want for very little.

Indeed, it is easy to overlook how well this city is served by sports facilities.

We hope they help inspire outstanding performances and top competition.

In return, Games participants can be assured they are an inspiration to us.

Through sport, these athletes show they are not defined by their deafness.

The Games are a celebration of their talents and their ability to adapt when faced with adversity and get on with life.

It is a privilege to host all who are associated with the Games and we hope this is a week they will look back on fondly for many a year.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Fiji Methodist Church today

from w
Dribs and drabs of news emerge from the Methodist Church office in Suva or interviews but they certainly need a better PR to get their viewpoint out - and not just from the men at the top. What do the Methodist women think? What do the Methodist young people think? Here are a few things to consider. I don't think the title of the first copy and paste job from the Fiji Sun is very accurate. Change in the church - I don't think so. Old men dreaming dreams perhaps! The bits in italics are my comments.

January 15, 2012 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: newsroom

A new president of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma is expected to be appointed in August. This is when the church holds its annual general meeting after a lapse of four years. The election of a new president was revealed by the church’s general secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra yesterday.

He said sitting president Reverend Ame Tugaue had exceeded his term after the church meetings were suspended by Government under the Public Emergency Regulations (PER). The church’s constitution demands an elected president can serve for three consecutive years. The president cannot be re-elected after serving a term. The election of the president of the church could not take place last year due to the ban on the church’s annual conference. It resulted in the suspension of the annual conference in the last few years.

During this time, Government had called for a change in the church leadership, but this failed because the Methodist Church’s constitution stipulated that any change in leadership must be through election. Government has said the church must concentrate on being a church and stay out of politics.

“We need a new president. The appointment of a new president was to have been done last year but our president has carried on although his term has expired,” Reverend Nawadra said.

“The annual conference (Bose ko Viti) is significant in the church because it is where all decisions are made including the election of office bearers.”

Government has given the green light to the Church to apply for a permit after the lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations (PER) on January 7. The ban imposed on the church’s monthly, quarterly meetings and annual conference was because of the alleged involvement of senior members of the church in politics.

Meanwhile, the Church is trying to organise a meeting between two former church presidents, Reverend Josateki Koroi and Reverend Manasa Lasaro. Reverend Koroi, in an interview with Radio Australia, called on the Methodist Church to heal its internal rifts. His leadership ended in 1989 when he was succeeded by Reverend Lasaro. “We have contacted Reverend Koroi and he is prepared to come in. We are waiting for a reply from Reverend Lasaro,” he said. He said they hoped the two would reconcile before the annual general meeting in August.

(Is the journalist referring to something said way back in August or something said just this week. It could be an old story. This is the one I think it refers to: Methinks it’s time the old guys – over seventy or eighty - to stop talking and let the middle-aged and young talatalas speak instead. The future is not for the oldies who hark back to a Fiji twenty two years ago. Today life is difficult for many people and the focus needs to be not on leadership but grass roots living for the ordinary Methodist families. And they certainly need better PR so should they hire a vavalagi from USA or Australia, pay him or her big bucks to get good stories out there!!!. Have they even got a website, a facebook page, a blog site. I don’t think so.)

Call for Fiji Methodist church unity
Updated August 25, 2011 16:23:59

There's been a call for the Fiji Methodist Church to heal its internal rifts.

It comes from a former church President, Reverend Josateki Koroi, who was forced out of the leadership in 1989 by Reverend Manasa Lasaro.

He says Reverend Lasaro is part of the wing of the church which believes in ethnic Fijian nationalism, while he says there are others like himself who are more moderate.

Reverend Koroi says this week's cancellation of the Methodist conference by the interim Fiji government won't help heal the church's divisions, as that's something only the church can do.

Presenter: Bruce Hill
Speaker: Reverend Josateki Koroi, former Fiji Methodist Church President

KOROI: I think the government is putting the pressure now but the question of reconciliation within the church has been long overdue. In my last year as President of the church, the General Secretary of the Church at the time take over the church, close the door of the church for me for almost 12 months.

HILL: Would it be fair to say that the Fiji Methodist Church has two main factions; one which is a very strongly Fijian ethnic nationalist side, and the other which you're identified with, much more religiously oriented and moderate?

KOROI: Yes this is my stand and when I was against this breakaway, led by Lasaro, they were really a nationalist group and I stood against that and that was the main cause of the split within the church.

HILL: Well given that do you think that the government might have perhaps had a point when it said that it didn't want these churchmen who were identified with that branch of the church speaking at the conference?

KOROI: Well I cannot say, both of them have their own agenda of taking over the power, the army has gone off its proper role in the government and that's how it took over the government. I think a power struggle guided by some selfish motivation.

HILL: Can these two factions within the church, the ethnic Fijian nationalists and the moderates reconcile? Can the church achieve unity given these divisions?

KOROI: Yes the church should unite and stand on its proper foundation, then it can be the proper church. At the moment it's the cause of the weakness in the church, they have no conviction or mission, no vision as a church.

HILL: Do you think that the government's action in cancelling the church conference will help or hinder this process of the two wings of the church reconciling?

KOROI: I don't think it would help or hinder really, I can't see how the church would unite just because of the pressure from the government. The church ought to stand on its own and unite without any pressure or anything from the government. The church has been misled for the last few years now, starting from the year 1989.

(This story in the Fiji Sun is more recent.)

Fiji Methodist Church’s Reverend Tevita Banivanua speaks to Pacific Beat
Created: Thu, 12 Jan 15:41:33 UTC+1300 2012

Last Updated: 19 hours 57 minutes ago
Fiji’s Methodist Church has been told that despite the lifting of Public Emergency Regulations it will still need permits to hold meetings.
Since the draconian regulations were lifted on Saturday, a revamped Public Order Decree has come into force.

Fiji’s interim Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, says the Decree brings the former Public Order Act up-to-date but many are concerned it is a way of continuing the controls that had been in place under the Emergency Regulations.

The Methodist Church’s assistant general-secretary, Reverend Tevita Banivanua, told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat, the police have rejected his request to make permit applications on behalf of his congregations.

“We were really overjoyed when we heard of the lifting of the PER (Public Emergency Regulations) but then when the actual thing came, it was almost a cut and paste thing,” he said.

“They have moved the PER, the one that affects us, to the revised Public Order Act 2012 so we are still caught in the middle.”
and another article - the point of view of a very capable and excellent talatala.

Methodists losing faith in Fiji

12 Jan, 2012 03:00 AM
METHODIST minister Reverend Tevita Nawadra Banivanua had every reason to hope that 2012 was to be the beginning of a new period of rapprochement between his church and Fiji's military regime.

Banned from holding meetings since 2009 and with its two most senior office holders facing charges of holding an illegal meeting, the church has been at the centre of a repressive regime of emergency regulations enacted by the unelected government of Voreqe ''Frank'' Bainimarama.

When Commodore Bainimarama announced the lifting of the public emergency regulations, known as the PER, the Reverend was thrilled. But since then, Reverend Banivanua has watched a new and permanent law be enacted, which essentially ''cuts and pastes'' the worst excesses of the regulations.

The decision by Commodore Bainimarama to retain the repressive laws has frustrated many in Fiji, who had hoped the government was finally beginning to move towards a more democratic style.

''I had hoped that the lifting of the PER would have encouraged us to believe in government. But we have lost trust,'' said Reverend Banivanua, the church's assistant secretary.

The relationship between Fiji's Methodist Church, which preaches to about two-thirds of Fiji's population, has been sour since 2008, when several leaders condemned Commodore Bainimarama.

The Reverend's interview comes the day after The Age revealed that the lifting of emergency rule in Fiji was proving to be a publicity exercise, with the military regime giving itself sweeping powers of arrest, detention and repression.

Senior police told Reverend Banivanua and other religious leaders that every Methodist church in Fiji - of which there are more than 2000 - will have to apply seven days in advance for a permit every time they want to hold a meeting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A back yard in Namadi

from w
I found some old drawings I did on a holiday in Fiji - they are all from a backyard in Namadi Heights in Suva. There's a steep gully and no real back yard for planting vegetables at all. But it's very picturesque. At least, Suva has that going for it together with the 90 degrees humidity at times!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

From Palmlea

from w
Read this piece on Fijiguide this morning with some updates on plans to improve transport and infrastructure in the Labasa region. Sounds very good.
News from Labasa way
Posted by Robert F. Kay on December 11, 2011 at 2:00pm members Joe and Julie Smelser, owners of Palmlea Farms Lodge & Bures (located 18 minutes from Labasa Airport on the northern coast of Vanua Levu) were kind enough to give me a pre New Year's report which I will pass on.

The news should be of interest to anyone traveling to the Labasa area or thinking of visiting Palmlea, a working farm and eco tourism resort that has recently received international attention.

Here are their updates:

Blighwater Shipping's “MV Westerland” ferry has been running successfully from Lautoka to Malau/Labasa since last 3.5 months.

A big new commercial wharf will soon be built 4.5 kms west of Palmlea. It will be an International port for bigger ships shipping bauxite to China and Russia. Part of the complex will be a new ferry landing, with customs/immigration.

A new paved road passing 1 kms from Palmlea now connects the main highway to the new wharf.

Palmlea will be on the grid--it will soon have electric service …
Labasa airport will be extended the 440 metres with night landing lights to accommodate early evening night flights.

Air Pacific, which owns Pacific Sun reports they is ordering 2 x ATR 74 passenger aircraft to service Nadi, Suva and Labasa.

Joe reports there may be an opportunity to one Int’l flight a week with a
737 longhaul commercial jet straight into Labasa.

For anyone coming up Labasa way, they will note new and remodeled buildings in mainstreet Labasa, plus a new Jack’s Handicrafts store.

The Bank of the South Pacific (PNG) bank will be be coming into Vanua Levu to service the local population.

Last but not least, Palmlea Lodge & Villas was featured on in late September, we along with 4 other International properties. By comparison, Palmlea was a real bargain. The story is here.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Fiji tops poll on happiness

from w
Here are some copy and paste bits on the Happiness poll. My view, for what it's worth, is that in Fiji many men and women will say yes to the main question because they perceive that this is the answer wanted. And who's going to report on them if they say they are unhappy! If someone asked me I would say 'Sometimes' - it depends on the time of day, what kind of food I'm eating, the context, what is currently happening in my life. There's no definite answer yes or no! What was the cross-section of people interviewed in Fiji - only urban, what age, what ethnic group, etc. Did they ask the lady begging outside the curry shop I wonder!

19 Fiji 1020 0.0 89 yes 4 no 7 not sure 0 85%

Fiji Tim Wilson Tebbutt Research Face to face Urban Yes 1000 Dec 16-Dec20 Global ‘happiness index’ ranks Fiji at helm
December 31, 2011 04:11:17 PM

• chop_chop2012/01/01
at 3:08 PM ETAnother absolutley ridiculous survey that tells us absolutely nothing when you take in all the variables. Without doing that it pretty renders this obsurd. You can not compare 1 country's feeling of happiness with another. Perspective is completely subjective. Nice waste of time CBC! But i guess it accomplishes some hidden agenda you have.

From Fijilive

Fiji is the happiest country and home to the happiest people, according to the Global Barometer of Happiness.

The “happiness barometer’ is based on responses of nearly 53,000 people in 58 countries who were asked to state whether they perceived themselves as "happy" or "unhappy" in 2011.

The global survey, conducted on the eve of every new year since 1977, was carried out by Canadian pollsters Leger Marketing and its partners, the world’s largest independent network of opinion pollsters, the WIN Association.

And, in a surprise to the people who conducted the polls, Afghanistan recorded higher happiness numbers of 35 per cent than the United States at 33 per cent.

The top five countries for happiness, besides Fiji are Nigeria (84 per cent net happiness), the Netherlands (77 per cent), Switzerland (76 per cent) and Ghana (72 per cent).

The Global Barometer of Happiness has a margin of error of plus or minus three to five per cent. People were surveyed face-to-face and over the phone.

Question: So far as you are concerned, do you personally feel happy, unhappy or neither
happy nor un-happy about your life? (Reference Q# 3 of the EOY: 2011 Questionnaire, see Methods Section)
Percent of Respondents
Global Average* 52287 100.0 53 13 31 2 40
S # Countries in alphabetical order Sample Size Happy Unhappy Neither
Happy nor
Don’t know/
no response
1 Afghanistan 1031 0.4 52 17 29 1 35
2 Argentina 1002 0.5 67 6 27 0 61
3 Armenia 500 0.1 70 10 18 2 60
4 Australia 1040 0.6 55 17 27 1 38
5 Austria 1003 0.3 59 7 32 2 53
6 Azerbaijan 510 0.1 58 4 36 2 54
7 Belgium 528 0.3 53 7 37 2 46
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1000 0.1 53 17 29 1 36
9 Brazil 2002 4.7 76 13 10 0 63
10 Bulgaria 997 0.2 36 7 51 6 29
11 Cameroon 504 0.1 51 9 38 1 42
12 Canada 1003 0.9 60 13 26 2 47
13 China 500 17.0 41 17 41 1 25
14 Colombia 606 0.5 74 3 22 1 71
15 Czech Republic 1000 0.3 41 12 46 1 28
16 Denmark 506 0.2 73 8 18 1 64
17 Ecuador 400 0.1 63 6 30 1 57
18 Egypt 1000 1.4 36 36 20 7 0
19 Fiji 1020 0.0 89 4 7 0 85
20 Finland 984 0.2 72 1 27 0 70
21 France 1671 1.9 48 8 43 0 40
22 Georgia 1000 0.1 0 0 0 0 0
23 Germany 502 2.6 72 4 23 1 68
24 Ghana 1505 0.5 82 10 5 3 72
25 Hong Kong 500 0.2 41 11 48 0 30
26 Iceland 852 0.0 73 7 19 1 66
27 India 1091 28.6 51 14 34 1 37
28 Iraq 1000 0.4 47 28 23 1 19
29 Ireland 1001 0.1 45 25 30 0 20
30 Italy 987 1.9 35 10 53 2 25
31 Japan 1200 3.8 49 2 40 9 47
32 Kenya 1000 0.8 46 26 26 1 20
33 Korea, Rep (South) 1524 1.4 52 8 38 1 44
34 Lebanon 500 0.1 54 31 15 0 24
35 Lithuania 1025 0.1 35 26 37 1 9
36 Macedonia 1209 0.1 48 9 41 1 39
37 Malaysia 520 0.6 65 3 30 3 62
38 Moldova 1086 0.1 43 14 36 7 28
39 Netherlands 505 0.5 81 4 15 0 77
40 Nigeria 1049 2.7 89 6 4 1 84
41 Pakistan 2705 3.0 40 10 46 4 31
42 Palestine 626 0.1 31 25 43 1 7
43 Peru 1207 0.7 63 7 30 1 56
44 Romania 1050 0.8 28 39 30 3 -10
45 Russian Federation 1000 2.6 39 8 42 11 31
46 Saudi Arabia 502 0.5 70 10 20 1 60Global Barometer of
The World’s First Global Barometer
Page 8 of 25
47 Serbia 1037 0.2 28 20 47 4 8
48 South Africa 200 0.4 57 23 19 2 35
49 South Sudan 1020 0.2 62 15 21 2 46
50 Spain 1146 1.2 68 13 18 1 55
51 Sweden 501 0.3 58 4 36 2 54
52 Switzerland 507 0.2 81 5 14 1 76
53 Tunisia 503 0.3 58 12 29 1 47
54 Turkey 1031 1.8 44 18 37 1 26
55 Ukraine 1013 1.4 43 14 37 6 30
56 United States 1002 8.7 53 20 26 2 33
57 Uzbekistan 500 0.8 65 3 25 7 62
58 Vietnam 500 2.2 56 19 25 0 37
We top global joy survey
January 1, 2012 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: newsroom
Source: CBC News
An annual “happiness barometer” ranked Fiji the happiest nation in the world in the lead-up to the New Year.
The survey asked participants to state whether they perceived themselves as “happy” or “unhappy” in 2011.
Fiji was the happiest, according to the Global Barometer of Happiness, with a net happiness of 85 per cent.
A total of 1020 people in Fiji were surveyed.
In the region, Australia had a net happiness score of only 38 per cent. The top five nations for happiness levels were:
1. Fiji 85 per cent
2. Nigeria 84 per cent
3. Netherlands 77 per cent
4. Switzerland 76 per cent
5. Ghana 72 per cent

Amongst the least happy countries were Romania (-10 per cent), Egypt (0 per cent), Palestine (7 per cent) and Serbia (8 per cent).

The global survey was carried out by Canadian pollsters Leger Marketing and its partners, the world’s largest independent network of opinion pollsters, the WIN Association in 58 countries (52,913 interviews). It covered the vast majority of world population.

In one major surprise, Afghanistan, which had a net happiness score of 35 per cent, beat the United States, at 33 per cent.

“That was one that stood out for us,” Leger Marketing said.

“And a big part of it is what’s changed in Afghanistan. In the United States, not much has changed over the past year. The de-escalation of the Afghanistan conflict doesn’t affect the United States the way it does Afghanistan.”

People were surveyed face-to-face and over the phone.

The network has conducted this annual poll on the eve of New Year since 1977. The global poll which had earlier focused on prospects for the economy added a question this year on ‘Happiness’.

The findings turned out to be quite revealing. The attainment of Happiness is aided by economic hopefulness; but often ‘happiness’ refuses to be subdued by economic gloom.

The survey finds that nations which are struggling hard to move up the global economic ladder produce a lot of ‘unhappy’ people. Thus net happiness in China is nearly half of global average and stands at 25 per cent.

In contrast the economically-pressured Spaniards score 55 per cent net happiness. Perhaps the feeling to ‘be happy’ is also a cultural trait!