More than 150 Fijians residing at Vatawai Settlement in the district of Nalotawa in Ba now have better and easier access to markets and school.

This follows the completion of the Vatawai Settlement to Rara Village Farm Access Road project by the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management.

The project was completed under the Ministry’s Community Access Road, Footpaths and Footbridges (CARFF) programme at a cost of $47,800.The farm access road is located 50km from Ba town in the hinterlands of Ba Province. I

n previous years, majority of the villagers of Rara had migrated to Vatawai Settlement because of deteriorating road conditions.

They have settled on the land at Vatawai for decades which belongs to them as well.

A project brief submitted by the Office of the Commissioner Western Division reported that the villagers also moved to Vatawai because of easy accessibility to all amenities, including to primary and secondary schools in Ba Town.

The new road will greatly benefit the 10 students who live in the settlement in getting to school daily.

Majority of the 158 beneficiaries of the project also farm in the vicinity of the completed project so the new road would greatly assist them in transporting and supplying their root crops and vegetables to the Ba market.

The new road is also expected to connect the residents of Vatawai to Rara Village and to be also used by the villagers of Rara as a shorter route of transportation to Ba Town.

The project will also encourage the community to increase tonnage of sugar cane planting transported to the Rarawai Mill in Ba.Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Inia Seruiratu earlier said roads were vehicles to every other door of development.

“You need good roads in order to access the market,” Hon. Seruiratu said while commissioning the Vakale Korokadi Farm Access Road in Lekutu, Bua in June.

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