SUNCITY

Squatters Laud New Lands Minister

Jittu Estate and Wailea Squatter Settlement residents have acknowledged Government for trying to help them. This follows the Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Mere Vuniwaqa’s maiden speech in Parliament
20 Oct 2014 11:42
Squatters Laud New Lands Minister
Jittu Estate resident, Raijeli Marawaqa, 39, (left), with her children Ilaitia Korodake and Menani Finai (right), with neighbour Jone Matatolu. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Jittu Estate and Wailea Squatter Settlement residents have acknowledged Government for trying to help them.

This follows the Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Mere Vuniwaqa’s maiden speech in Parliament last week.

In her speech, Mrs Vuniwaqa said her ministry would work with other ministries and agencies to help formalise squatter settlements on State land.

She said they would help by providing piped water, proper sewerages systems and electricity.

Jittu resident Raijeli Marawaqa, 39, said they would be fortunate if Government would implement these plans.

This, she said, would give them an opportunity to access infrastructures that only most people living in towns took for granted.

“What the Government is planning to get into our squatter settlement is very good and will assist us a lot because many people living here have only one person in the family who is working and their wages are usually less than $100,” Mrs Marawaqa said.

“Most of the time many of us here find it hard to make ends meet. We have five children and my husband and I work, but our wages are below $100 each per week. What the Minister is going to do will really improve and assist our family. Our children will be able to get proper education since we will be receiving a lot of help.”

Mohammed Hafiz, 60, also of Jittu Estate commended Government’s intention saying it would end sharing on electricity and water among squatter settlement households.

Wailea resident Apete Qumi, 61, pitched in and thanked Government for considering their need.

“Past governments came to us and promised to improve our lives and provide water and electricity, but no actual work was done,” he said.

“If they (Government) can do it, it will be very good and beneficial to us because before they usually come and tell us they will do it, but they did not,” Mr Qumi said.

Mrs Vuniwaqa, in her maiden speech, said her ministry would also give squatter settlement residents, “security of tenure by issuing 99-year leases.”

This, she said, would enable them to build proper homes and gain access to funds for this purpose.

Feedback: aqela.susu@fijisun.com.fj

 

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