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Koya Opens Village Eco-Tourism Project

Koya Opens Village Eco-Tourism Project
Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya opening the Babale bures at Silana village in Dawasamu, Tailevu on July 18, 2018. Photo: Mohammed Zulfikar
July 19
10:55 2018

The village of Silana in the interior part of Dawasamu, Tailevu yesterday saw the opening of its first income-generating eco-tourism project.

The opening of the three bures dubbed Babale bures was overseen by the Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya.

The traditional structures, jointly funded by Government and the village community, were constructed by a team of 20 Silana youths, who have formed a group to pursue such projects.

The village’s geographical location means opportunities for trade and employment are hard to come by.

However, the village is sheltered by scenic hills and forest cover, an eco-tourism conducive environment that can be crucial for Silana’s economny.

It is also a way to economically empower Silana’s youth, Mr Koya said.

The youth volunteers got a chance to hone their carpentary skills. The volunteers worked five days a week and were paid $20 a day funded by the village youth group.

They will also be responsible for managing the bures, currently occupied by Global Vision International (GVI) for a three-year period.

“The total cost of the Silana Youth Project was $144,399,” Mr Koya said.

“The Fijian Government through the Integrated Human Resource Development Programme (IHRDP) contributed $53,771, and the community contributed $90,627 in cash and sweat equity in the construction of these bures.”

The IHRDP is a Government initiative “funds community-based projects that allows for communities to pool resources and expertise for projects that generate income and create decent work.”

GVI director Dane Marx said  the non-Governement organisation’s  main aim was to respond to the needs of the community.

He said they have a partnership with the Silana village which has strengthened over the years.

“With the support of the community they will continue the work they have been doing for the Dawasamu district and Navunisea Primary school,”Mr Marx said.

“We are proud to be part of the Silana community where we know volunteers and staff are always welcomed with open arms.”



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