PM Bainimarama Speaks On Development at Naitasiri Provincial Council Meeting


We have invested more than $105.5 million into developing the rural regions of Naitasiri from 2014 until last year, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

PM Bainimarama highlighted this as he opened the Naitasiri Provincial Council meeting in Kalabu Village last week.

In his address, Prime Minister Bainimarama deliberated on some of the major projects and developments that have been carried out in the province by the Fijian Government.

These developments include the construction of bridges and roads, upgrading of schools, agricultural support, improvement of medical services, social welfare assistance, and the supply of water and electricity to villages.
Many have also been able to enjoy the experience of attending university through the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme – a burden that has been lifted off many parents.

He highlighted that a total of 21 grid extension projects have been commissioned from 2012 to 2021 in the province, benefitting close to 700 households.

“We also extended our assistance to ensure that you access electricity. We invested over $8.6 million in rural electricity projects. This included grid extensions in Lomaivuna, Boteinaulu, and Sawanikula villages. We also connected Nawaqabena to Naduna village and Qiolevu Settlement. Electricity is something we take for granted in modern, urban societies. Now we have lit up most of Naitasiri, and soon, rural electrification will cover the whole province,” he said.

Prime Minister Bainimarama also spoke about the dangers brought by climate change that has caused riverbank erosion, an issue being experienced by some villages in the province.

The Fijian Government has assisted some villages such as Wainawaqa and Gusuisavu, along the Waidina River through many riverbank protection projects.

“Livelihoods are restored and food security is ensured through the protection of riverbanks. Our Government is also working with non-governmental organisations to provide nature–based solutions to protect against the effects of climate change. We have collaborated with the Fiji Ridge to Reef to implement projects such as planting vetiver grass for erosion control along the Waimanu River. We thank the people of Vuniniudrovu for partnering with us. This is a marvellous, low-cost solution that allows us to control flooding and erosion without massive engineering projects that fundamentally alter the landscape. It uses the resources that nature has given us.”

Attendees of the meeting were reminded of the importance of filling vacant chiefly titles. Of the 615 chiefly and customary titles in Naitasiri, only 340 are filled, leaving 275 titles vacant.

“It is the enduring legacy of my Government – that Fiji is a much better place to live than it has ever been before, and that it has improved by leaps and bounds in the last 15 years. It is more connected.

Our economy is stronger. Our communities are becoming more resilient,” PM Bainimarama said.