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Village Bylaws: Only 52 Villages Not Marked

The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs have revealed that only 52 out of 1171 villages in the country were left to have their boundaries marked. In an interview with the ministry’s
10 Nov 2016 12:05
Village Bylaws: Only  52 Villages Not Marked
Ministry of iTaukei Affairs Permanent Secretary Naipote Katonitabua. Photo: Josaia Ralago

The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs have revealed that only 52 out of 1171 villages in the country were left to have their boundaries marked.

In an interview with the ministry’s permanent secretary, Naipote Katonitabua said this process was important because in order for village bylaws to be put in place, they needed to ascertain the village boundaries.

“When this is done, the landowner has no authority over it anymore. This is where the bylaws will be followed and it involves actual mapping, technical boundary markings and maps,” Mr Katonitabua said.

“A village, once marked and mapped, would not be able to extend any further unless landowners agree to give up their portion of land for extension.

“Out of the 1171 villages only 52 is left, for instance the island of Cikobia here in Macuata, our officials have not been able to travel because of the weather conditions. We are targeting a trip by the end of this year.”

He said while this was true in some cases, in other areas chiefs and traditional leaders did not permit this process to be carried out because of their political affiliations.

“A cause of this is because some of the landowners do not agree to get this process done in their villages,” Mr Katonitabua said.

“Some is because of political reasons, the political position of some chiefs and leaders who do not (wish to see this through).

“Another major challenge is that landowners are not within the local area, maybe in other places, and we need them for their consent.”

Mr Katonitabua said the village bylaws had been passed by the Solicitor General’s office and is being distributed to different provincial offices, districts and villages.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

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