August 21, 2016 9:00 am

Rural settlements rejoice over new crossings

A project worth $59,000 has enabled farm communities in Qaliwalu, outside Lautoka and Tuvu in Ba to have better roads for access to basic services. The Non-Cane Access Road programme with the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management is an effort to promote development in rural communities. Vinod Kumar of Qaliwalu settlement outside Lautoka […]

A project worth $59,000 has enabled farm communities in Qaliwalu, outside Lautoka and Tuvu in Ba to have better roads for access to basic services.

Vinod Kumar of Qaliwalu settlement, Lautoka at the new crossing constructed by Government. FIJIAN GOVERNMENT
Vinod Kumar of Qaliwalu settlement, Lautoka at the new crossing constructed by Government. (Fijian Government)

The Non-Cane Access Road programme with the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management is an effort to promote development in rural communities.

Vinod Kumar of Qaliwalu settlement outside Lautoka said prior to the new crossing, there were many difficulties faced by almost 500 members in the settlement.

KUMAR: “In the past, we could not access the other side of the river during periods of heavy rain because of flooding. We faced so many problems and risks when we needed something from the other side. We are grateful to the government for the assistance in the construction of this new crossing. We waited for quite a long time and finally this government recognized our plight. Not only adult residents benefitted from the crossing but school children as well.”

Kritashni Lata of Tuvu in Ba said public transportation was affected when there was no crossing and this affected school children and others travelling out of the area.

LATA: “It is easier now, since we have a new crossing to get to the main road and school children no longer face difficulties especially during rainy weather.”

Commissioner Western Division, Mr Manasa Tagicakibau said rural transportation was critical in supporting the economy in relation to agriculture adding the ‘non-cane access road’ programme supports economic development in Fiji’s rural areas.

TAGICAKIBAU: “In this programme, rural people will be linked to markets and other services enabling them to move out of poverty.”