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Remote Communities Benefit from Roadshow

30/09/16

Many rural dwellers in the interior of Ba and the Navosa highlands face challenges in accessing basic public services. Given the amount of time and distance involved for such access, sums of money spent on transport can be further economically burdensome.

In early September, the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management took government services to isolated rural communities in Ba and Navosa by conducting a Government Roadshow in the village of Nanoko. The intention of the Nanoko Government Roadshow was to bring initiatives offered by government and its partners closer to people.

Over the two day program, hundreds of people from the districts of Navatusila, Magodro, and Namataku, conveniently received services from various government agencies and partners all in one location at the Thomas Baker Memorial School grounds.

agriculture officials hand out seedlings
Picture: Agriculture Officials handout seedlings and give advisories at the Nanoko Government Roadshow

Eroni Tamudrali, a 60 year old farmer in the Navatusila District of Navosa, said that since moving to Nanoko 30 years ago, it was the first time he had seen anything like this in Navosa.

“We are all so very happy. Knowing that we face challenges in travelling to the main town centers, we are so very happy that services are being brought to the front yards of our homes.”

He said farmers like him were provided access to planting materials and farming advisories by Ministry of Agriculture officials.

Similar sentiments were shared by a young mother of 2, Elenoa Nailisa, who said that travel costs to access such services had been a main challenge.

“Transport cost for one person to a town center is $15 one way. So for every time we need to access services such as birth certificates or financial institutions, we pay $30 return. And to hire one carrier is $150 one way and $300 return”.

“But in the last two days, we are so thankful that the doors of Government have been brought closer to us.”

Community members enquire RHU
Picture: Communities in the highlands of Ba and Navosa had the opportunity to enquire about Government's Rural Housing Scheme and receive house plans

Commissioner Western, Mr. Manasa Tagicakibau, said that the objectives of the roadshow had been achieved based on the remoteness of the areas being served and the response of communities in the interior of Navosa and Ba.

“The people in this area find it very difficult to travel to urban areas to access some of the government services so the people have been very appreciative of this event.”

“Government roadshows are designed and strategically planned to ensure that no Fijian gets left behind in access to services that they deserve and have a right to. And over the last two days, we have witnessed how fulfilling it is to be a part of”, Mr. Tagicakibau said.

The Commissioner Western also commended government officials and partners from over 30 agencies who spent 3 days setting up and providing services away from their homes.

Services provided at the Nanoko Government Roadshow included births, deaths, and marriage certificates and registration; iTaukei institutions registrations; health and dental clinics; agricultural technical and advisory services; rural banking; tertiary education awareness; TIN & FNPF; counselling services; and social welfare services to name a few.

People from at least 13 villages were present at the roadshow.

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