NEWS

Transport Now Made Easy, Affordable

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was in Lautoka yesterday handing over fibreglass punts and a passenger boat to a number of Yasawa villages. The larger passenger boat was handed to Yavusa
01 Aug 2015 09:56
Transport Now Made Easy, Affordable
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in Lautoka yesterday. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was in Lautoka yesterday handing over fibreglass punts and a passenger boat to a number of Yasawa villages.

The larger passenger boat was handed to Yavusa Bouwaqa in Teci Village; four 23-foot fibreglass boats were handed to two villages – Mataqali Nalimai in Tamusua Village, and Bukama Village – and two schools – Ratu Apenisa Memorial School at Soso Village, and Somosomo Village School, Somosomo.

These vessels, the Prime Minister said, were urgently needed, not only to transport people to the mainland but within the Yasawa Group.

“I’m very pleased that with a partnership between the communities and the Government, we have been able to fulfil that need,” he said.

Since the demise of the Ba Holdings Western Shipping Company, Mr Bainimarama said the people of Yasawa were deprived of a safe, reliable and affordable service. This triggered a steep increase in the boat fares from the Lautoka jetty to Yasawa-i-Rara.

Villagers from Teci had to travel by boat to Tamusua to catch a vessel to Lautoka, which would cost them an extra $70 per trip. They would have to pay around $120 if they opted to travel on a faster vessel like the Yasawa Flyer.

The community had asked Government if it could add on to the $55,000 they had collected to buy a vessel that could make their journey affordable. Government then provided $270,000 through the Small Grants Scheme.

Mr Bainimarama said the people of Yasawa could now transport their produce also to the mainland at an affordable price.

The four fibreglass boats were also funded by Small Grants Scheme, which include a 40-horsepower Yamaha outboard motor engine and a safety kit.

The PM said they were desperately needed because any maritime community was totally dependent on small boats like the ones handed over yesterday.

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

 

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