Caption: Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka and Assistant Minister Hon. Jovesa Vocea with the Korean Ambassador to Fiji H.E. Mr. Young – Kyu Park, Fiji Saemaul Global Leader Mr. Filimone Kau with community members from the villages of Silana, Naimasimasi and Mau who were part of a one-day workshop on the Saemaul Undong (SMU) rural development model in Suva yesterday.
SUVA – Government has noted some progressive improvements in the three communities currently engaged under the Saemaul Undong (SMU) rural development concept.
The SMU concept is being currently piloted in the Central Division in the villages of Silana and Namasimasi in Tailevu and in Mau Village in Namosi.
Since the inception of the SMU concept, improvements noted in these communities are:
- Improvement of Sanitation, such as the transition from the usage of pit toilets to flush toilets and the construction of septic tanks;
- Water improvement, such as the dam or water catchment upgrade;
- Community halls upgrade;
- Footpaths and village drain construction and improvements; and
- Waste management improvement.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka during a meeting of more than 60 community members from Silana, Naimasimasi, and Mau yesterday.
“The Government of Korea has invested an accumulated sum of FJD $286,404 to these 3 villages since 2020. These communities were also assisted with awareness and training to familiarize themselves on the significance of SMU, and the formation of village committees to oversee the implementation of projects, planned for community developments. It is through such partnerships between Fiji and the Republic of Korea that we are able to empower rural livelihoods through creating an enabling environment which promotes socio-economic development and improves the quality of life,” Minister Ditoka highlighted in his opening remarks.
He reiterated that the SMU rural development model was aimed at renewing the mind-set of our rural communities, to bring about improvements in quality of life and living standards.
“The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management is mandated to improve the well-being of people in rural and maritime Fiji, by doing its best to close the development gap between the rural and urban areas. One of our key priorities is supporting communities with sustainable basic infrastructure that will contribute towards their socio-economic development. However, with Government’s limited resources and the significant demand for assistance needed in the rural areas, we are very much thankful to our development partners, in particular from the Republic of Korea who share the same aspirations with us in terms of rural development. We acknowledge with appreciation the Saemaul Undong initiative that enables us to initiate not only a rural development model but more so a “way of life” that is self-reliant, sustainable, and resilient to the many challenges facing our rural communities today,” Hon. Ditoka said.
The three villages currently engaged under the SMU concept were selected based on their ability to transfer the initiative into a sustainable development model, through a joint partnership between the community members and the SMU facilitators, and also the integration of the characteristics of the villages based on the “Can Do Spirit” on the pillars of diligence, cooperation, and self-help.
Caption: Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka with villagers of Mau, Namosi who were part of a one-day workshop on the Saemaul Undong (SMU) rural development model in Suva yesterday.
The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management is responsible for implementing development strategies that bring Fijians living in rural and maritime regions the same level of access to essential services and economic opportunities as anywhere else in the country. We coordinate and implement the Fiji Government’s rural and maritime development initiatives with a mission to empower Fiji’s rural sector. We also spearhead disaster risk reduction initiatives at national and sub-national level including disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. We have offices for each of Fiji’s 14 provinces including Rotuma, leading the Fiji Government’s rural development and disaster risk management operations.
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