NEWS

Usamate Prioritises Transport, Water for Draubuta Villagers

Mr Usamate said: “I’m glad to hear that the Government agencies have been here and Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) has made sure that the con­tractor who is doing work here is taking some of the sand out. Some of the sand has been put down in the river.
20 Feb 2019 10:00
Usamate Prioritises Transport, Water for Draubuta Villagers
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Jone Usamate witnessed firsthand the damge done by the landslide on February 18, 2019. Photo: DEPTFO News

Jone Usamate says he will be talking with Government agencies to look at long term and immediate measures for Draubuta Village in Navosa. The village was recently hit by landslide after continuous rains.

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, made his visit to the village on Monday.

Mr Usamate saw firsthand the damage that the natural disaster had caused and listened to the vil­lagers’ plight and their immediate needs and concerns.

Deputy turaga-ni-koro, Mereseini Naola told Mr Usamate that water and transport were at the top of their concerns.

Deputy turaga-ni-koro Mereseini Naola raising the issues which needed to be addressed with the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Jone Usamate on February 18, 2019. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

Deputy turaga-ni-koro Mereseini Naola raising the issues which needed to be addressed with the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Jone Usamate on February 18, 2019. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

“We notified him about the main thing which is the water supply in the village, especially the number of households in our Village has in­creased to 69 houses, 82 families and the population now is 395 from 384,” she said.

“It takes about one hour for us to take water to our houses to be stored for the whole day then we have to wait for the next morning to get wa­ter again.

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Jone Usamate touring Draubuta Village on February 18, 2019. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Jone Usamate touring Draubuta Village on February 18, 2019. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

“Another issue is the road for the school students. They are involved in pulling the truck and it has been happening for four weeks now dur­ing the rainy season especially stu­dents from Bainimarama Vatutoko Primary School and Nuikoro Dis­trict School.

“We also raised another issue on the families that were affected dur­ing the landslide.”

Mr Usamate said: “I’m glad to hear that the Government agencies have been here and Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) has made sure that the con­tractor who is doing work here is taking some of the sand out. Some of the sand has been put down in the river.

“The discussions have been very good discussions, good suggestions have been discussed about the road, what needs to be done about the road, about their water sources, they also talked about the need for housing, some of the housing may change but that’s something that needs to be discussed and the course of the water, where the water runs.

“The water goes right under the hall, the natural flow of the water, so all of these things need to be re­looked at.

“We will need to look at some long-term measures, what needs to be done at the same time if people are not having enough food and those sorts of things the Government can do that.

“I will be taking up some of these issues to the relevant Ministries, like the Ministry of Waterways looking at diverting the way that the water runs or strengthening the way that it currently runs, we also talked about sources of water.”

He said his ministry will also be liaising with the Water Authority of Fiji given that the villagers have to collect water for themselves for a whole day from a water source that was insufficient, and that too from quite a distance away from their homes.

“With the roads, they talked about the fact that at some places the kids have to get out of the licenced vans and pull the vehicles so FRA has promised to look into that so these children don’t have to be pulling ve­hicles that they are travelling in.”

The village has a population of 395 individuals.

Mr Usamate added Government was all about seeing how they could help the people that they served.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj



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