Sunvoice

Editorial: Support Lau in Festival To Raise Funds For Development

Because of their geographical isolation, Lauans from time to time complain of poor services. Their grievances are understandable because of the distance and time needed to get urgent supplies to
04 Aug 2017 11:00
Editorial: Support Lau in Festival To Raise Funds For Development
Adi Natuicake Festival second day celebration at Kauvesi park, Raiwai on August 3, 2017.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

Because of their geographical isolation, Lauans from time to time complain of poor services. Their grievances are understandable because of the distance and time needed to get urgent supplies to the islands.

Fiji Link flies to Lakeba, Vanuabalavu and Cicia. Northern Air flies to the same three destinations plus Moala. The other islands rely on the shipping services.

The Government has been working hard to service the islands by providing the infrastructure and decentralising services to bring them closer to the people.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has announced that soon the Births, Marriages and Deaths Registry office would be set up in Tubou, Lakeba. That will save Lauans time and money because they don’t have to travel all the way to Suva to get a birth certificate. They will travel a shorter distance to access the service at Tubou.

Mr Bainimarama also announced that all Lauans would also have access to Amplitude Modulation (AM) radio and free to air television which so far were not available.

The service will allow them to listen  and see important national events. Weather warnings, for example, are essential when Fiji is threatened by cyclones and other weather patterns. People need to be informed constantly on weather updates.

The service also provides the people with an opportunity to learn about what’s happening in Fiji and around the world. Knowledge empowers them to be able to make informed decisions in life.

Sometimes in the absence of this knowledge, those who live in isolation can be easily misled by misinformation by some politicians. The service provides the people the means to verify information that is relayed by politicians.

Gradually, the feeling of isolation disappears, people see issues in a better light. It also helps people not to take things for granted and appreciate what they have. Everything is relative. When people see images on TV of people in far worse situations than them, it gives them a sense of understanding and appreciation of their own personal circumstances.

Lau is endowed with natural beauty and resources that outsiders can only dream of. It’s how these resources are utilized to generate economic benefits that is important. The Government creates the environment and empowers the people through infrastructure to undertake economic projects. For maritime islands, their needs are different to those in Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.

Mr Bainimarama said that it was Government’s responsibility to provide the infrastructure development to improve the people’s standard of living.

One of the major challenges facing Lau is the threat of rising sea level because of climate change.  In any development projects they undertake, rising sea level will always be there at the back of their minds. The other issue is pollution that threatens marine life and their means of livelihood. That is why it is so critical that we support Government’s anti-plastic move and anti-litter campaign. Plastics and rubbish often get washed out to sea.

So as the Lauans round off their Adi Natuicake Festival to raise funds for developments, let’s support them.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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