NATION

Villagers Build Homes Under Pine Schemes

Mr Ducivaki said one of the disadvantages is that villagers tend to desire for big homes that take ages to build.
21 Jun 2019 10:14
Villagers Build Homes Under Pine Schemes

FORTY-FIVE years ago Joeli Bose’s ancestors inNaqara Village in the tikina of Ono in Kadavu had planted pine on 224 hectares of land.

He had just entered the world and while those before him questioned the reason for the large scale planting back then, they were told to wait and see.

Today, Mr Bose, 45 is about to become a homeowner after the completion of his 1 bedroom home at Naqara Village this coming August.

“We are lucky to be reaping the rewards of our forefathers and ancestors,” Mr Bose said.

“I am grateful to Government for their assistance under the Ono Pine Scheme that I am able to build my home here in the village.”

Married with a 7-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter Mr Bose who left the city three years ago and returned home to his roots said, he would not have been able to build himself a home had he remained there.

“I decided to return to the village and make a living for myself and my young family,” Mr Bose said.

The Ono Pine Scheme consists of Vabea, Waisomo, Naqara, Nabouwalu, Narikoso and Natusara villages – six villages that have large area of pine plantation.

Fiji Pine Trust representative at Naqara, Mr Semesa Ducivaki said the scheme greatly benefited villagers that come under the scheme.

“I think the scheme is a great initiative because wood is readily available and villagers are encouraged to make use of it by building their homes first and foremost,” Mr Ducivaki said.

He added under the scheme, villagers were not allowed to sell pine logs or have any pine logs business dealings until 2020 when the Housing Scheme ends and the Business or Marketing Scheme begins.

“After 2020, when houses are being built, villagers will be allowed to harvest pine for business purposes,” Mr Ducivaki said.

So far under the Ono Pine Scheme Waisomo village currently has 5 houses under construction, Naqara Village has 14 houses, Nabouwalu Village has 2 houses, Narikoso Village has 3 houses and Natusara Village has 2 houses – a total of 24 houses.

Mr Ducivaki said one of the disadvantages is that villagers tend to desire for big homes that take ages to build.

“There is no set guideline or house plan for a number of household for example – a couple with two children are entitled to a two bedroom home and so on and so forth,” Mr Ducivaki said.

“So what we are encouraging the villagers now is to start small – build a small house to begin with then they can extend it later on.”

Minister for Forestry Honourable Osea Naiqamu who recently visited Naqara Village and presented the Ono Pine Scheme with two chainsaws encouraged villagers to build their homes.

“You are lucky you do not have to go to hardware shops to buy timber for your homes, it is already here at your doorstep. Make use of it,” Minister Naiqamu told them.

Minister Naiqamu said it was good to know that some villagers were returning to village life after years of residing in urban centres just because they know they are able to build themselves a home back in the village using the timber resources available on their land.

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