Island News

Trust Delivers Five Camakau Canoes, Brings Joy To Villagers Of Nasesara

Nasesara Village elder, Vilive Waqavuka, said the camakau canoes would be beneficial in many ways to their families on the island.
19 Feb 2020 17:17
Trust Delivers Five Camakau Canoes, Brings Joy To Villagers Of Nasesara
Camakau canoes assembled at Leluvia Island before its journey to Nasesara Village. Photos: Leleuvia Island Resort

It was a joyful occasion for families of Nasesara Village on Moturiki Island who received five camakau sailing canoes from the Uto Ni Yalo Trust.

The traditionally-designed canoes were officially handed over on February 15 in a ceremony at the village hall.

Nasesara Village elder, Vilive Waqavuka, said the camakau canoes would be beneficial in many ways to their families on the island.

“Transportation has always been a challenge because fuel is costly and we have to use fibreglass boats to travel to Levuka Market to sell our produce,” Mr Waqavuka said.

“With these canoes, fuel is not required. We can save fuel money to buy essential items for our families.”

The 67-year-old said it was the first time for some villagers to see camakau canoes.

“People are now more used to fibreglass boats, but in former years sailing used to be the mode of transportation,” he said.

“It’s great to see camakau sailing canoes still exist.”

Mr Waqavuka acknowledged and thanked the efforts of the Uto Ni Yalo Trust.

The camakau canoes will greatly help families of Moturiki  Island.

Similar sentiments were shared by 51- year old Akanisi Kolinitini.

“These camakau canoes will help us preserve our fishing areas,” Ms Kolinitini said.

“We can use them to go  fishing, we  will catch just enough to feed the family unlike using the fibreglass boat, we have to catch more to sell at the market to pay for fuel.”

Nasesara villagers have other sources of income such as dalo and yaqona farming.

For Mrs Kolinitini, it was her first time to see camakau canoes. This made the handover ceremony a special occasion for her.

Women of Nasesara Village awaiting the arrival of the camakau canoes. Photos Laiseana Nasiga:

Women of Nasesara Village awaiting the arrival of the camakau canoes. Photos Laiseana Nasiga:

Uto Ni Yalo Trust president Colin Philp said the canoes were first built for the Eco-Challenge competition  in 2019.

He said in a meeting the decision was reached to build canoes to be used after the race.

“The Uto Ni Yalo Trust was the perfect vehicle to make the canoes, do trainings and hand them over,” Mr Philip said.

“We had a meeting with the Motiriki Island’s  eight clan leaders , Leleuvia Island Resort and Uto Ni Yalo Trust where it was decided to hand over one canoe for each of the marine protected areas around Moturiki Island which are Savuna, Wawa, Navuti, Uluibau and Yanuca.”

These canoes will assist Moturiki Island fish wardens support and maintain their marine protected areas.

Everything used to build the canoes were locally made except for the sailing cloth which was imported.

Mr Philp added that Nasesara Village was the first to be plastic free in May 2019 which is a good example for other villages in Fiji.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: laiseana.nasiga@fijisun.com.fj


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