Prime Minister Brings Smiles To 500 Residents

For 50 years Sakeo Tubui sat in his home in Korotari, Labasa, and watched his children with anxiety grow up crossing the river by foot. That practice ended yesterday as
22 Jun 2017 10:00
Prime Minister Brings Smiles To 500 Residents
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama while opening the suspension bridge at Korotari, Labasa, on June 21, 2017. Photo: Josaia Ralago

For 50 years Sakeo Tubui sat in his home in Korotari, Labasa, and watched his children with anxiety grow up crossing the river by foot.

That practice ended yesterday as he joined hundreds of fellow residents celebrate the opening of the new $557, 628 Korotari Suspension Bridge.

Mr Tubui, 75, heaped praises on Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his FijiFirst Government. Mr Bainimarama officially opened the bridge.

He is the first Prime Minister to visit Korotari.

Mr Tubui said they had requested previous governments during district and provincial meetings to have a bridge constructed. But their requests seemed to have fallen on deaf ears, he added.

He said Mr Bainimarama had come along and helped turn their dream into reality.

“Now the younger generation of today no longer have to miss classes nor get wet when crossing the river,” he said.

Mr Tubui said this was a memorable day for them when the PM met them, spoke to them in person and shook their hands.

Some of those who attended were emotional even though they could not shake his hands because he was moving to his next engagement at the Saqani Road Show.

But they were unanimous in their praise and recognition of Mr Bainimarama’s commitment to help the people through infrastructure development.

Jai Kumar, 60, said he would now be able to get his fresh produce across to the Labasa Market on time.

Mr Kumar said he and his wife were grateful to the Government.

Previously they faced challenges about safety of their children when they crossed the river.

Nirmala Wati, 55, was filled with emotion and said Government had heard the plight of her children and other children of Korotari.

She said getting their children educated was very important for many farmers in Labasa and now with the Suspension Bridge children would not miss classes.

When the Korotari River was flooded residents were stranded. Children could not go to school and farmers could not take their produce to the market.

The bridge will provide better accessibility for students attending Waiqele Secondary and Primary, Vunimoli Arya Primary and College and Korotari Primary.

Selina Diane, 13, acknowledged the Fijian Government, Peter and Margaret Long and the Rotary Club of United Kingdom and Suva as well as the Australian High Commission.

The Korotari Arya Primary student is one of the many students who live across the river. She said she was happy that now they no longer had to miss class or get wet when crossing the river.

Mr Bainimarama said the project was of vital importance to the Northern Division and the nation as a whole.

He said the project was also an important symbol of the Fijian Government’s continued commitment to the welfare of the Northern people and cornerstone of Government’s Look North Policy.

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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