89% Lauans In Urban Centres, A Concern

Mr Bainimarama also encouraged Lau district representatives to fill up Lau’s vacant chiefly titles.
03 Jun 2022 02:00
89% Lauans In Urban Centres, A Concern
Representatives of the Lau Provincial Council at Studio 6 Apartments in Suva on June 1, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kumar

About 89 per cent of the Lau Group of Islands population now reside in urban areas like Suva.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said on Wednesday that there was a need to strengthen urban outreach among the iTaukei.

He said that all provincial councils urban representatives would be required to improve their coordination with their respective provincial officers and the iTaukei Affairs Board so that coordination among those living in the islands and those in urban areas were not affected.


Mr Bainimarama also encouraged Lau district representatives to fill up Lau’s vacant chiefly titles.

“There are 13 Turaga iTaukei positions and only four are filled. Remember the old maxim: ‘When the vanua is stable, development will not be an issue’.

“As you know, those who have not been confirmed by the iTaukei Lands Commission have little or no mandate to speak for their vanua.


“Be that as it may, my Government will not allow the leadership void in the vanua to be exploited by any group – NGOs, CSOs, and even government agencies.

“Fill the vacant positions. Do it for your people. Do it for your vanua. Do it for Fiji.”


$31m Govt help since 2014

Meanwhile, since 2014, more than $31 million have been invested into development projects for the Lau Province.

Mr Bainimarama said the Government had spent $8,832,236 on rural roads in Vanuabalavu, Lakeba and Moala.

He said that $7,186,751 was spent on education through free education grants, and engine and boat assistance for your children to reach their classrooms.


He added that $3,338,781 was spent on solar home systems.

“The Ministry of Fisheries spent $2,781,041 on establishing the Moala and Cicia Fisheries Station and coastal development projects,” he said.

“The Ministry of Forestry spent $2,651,595 on timber treatment chemicals and equipment, portable sawmills, and a wheel loader.

“The Ministry of Agriculture spent $1,401,968 on rural outer island programmes, agriculture extension services, and coconut farming programmes.


“The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management spent $1,153,811 on self-help programmes.”

He added that the Ministry of Youth and Sports spent $1,148,909 on youth and sports grants, and youth training.

“Of course, all of these expenditures do not include the vast amounts of money we have spent after natural disasters for rebuilding schools, health centers and other public infrastructure,” he said.





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