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Work Together, Urges Naiqamu

Work Together, Urges Naiqamu
Minister for Forest Osea Naiqamu (back) with landowners gathered at Vesidrua in Seaqaqa after distributing Fiji Pine Trust lease bonus payment on August 30. Photo:SHRATIKA SINGH
August 31
11:27 2017

Minister for Forest Osea Naiqamu was in tears yesterday when he requested 53 Macuata land owning units at Vesidrua in Seaqaqa to work together.

During the distribution of lease bonus payments arranged by the Fiji Pine Trust, he told the gathering that there are two threats to pine forests.

“The two threats are natural disasters and fire,” Mr Naiqamu said.

“Most of the time the fire is put up by the landowners themselves following a dispute or argument.

If you have any problem, you resolve it instead of taking the law into your hands. Look after the natural resources that you are gifted with.”

“I began my career with the Fiji Pine Trust and that time there was only one company,” he said with tears flowing from his left eye.

“Today we have five companies in the trust and I have seen huge development over the years.

This is the third year you are receiving your payment. Use it wisely and to the ten representatives of the landowning units make sure you deliver the right amount”.

Aliti Vakasataki, representing Naikadra landowning unit in Natua was emotional when her name was called out first to collect a payment of $12,427.

“This money will be distributed to about 14 mataqali landowners,” Mrs Vakasataki said.

“We are so happy today and I would like to thank Fiji Pine Trust and Government for their support.”

The 41-year-old mother said she would save her share of payment and buy her children’s school stationery for next year.

Kolinio Liga, 28, the youngest landowner of Valetuki said back at the village, there were 17 landowners waiting for his arrival with the payment of $5,448.

“Many have planned already what to do with the money as we get this payment once in a year,” Mr Liga said.

“There are many young landowners like me and we have our own plan organised how to use this green gold money.”

Today, Mr Naiqamu will distribute the payment to the landowners at Kubulau in Bua.

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