Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Inia Seruiratu met with District Advisory Councillors (DACs) serving in communities within the Serua and Namosi provinces to discuss Government development programmes and other development needs identified on the ground.
While addressing the meeting today, Minister Seruiratu emphasised the need for DAC members to be aware about the development programmes carried out by Government. He said in the process of seeking development in their areas of service, DAC members must ensure that the social and economic benefits of all developments were balanced. “Rural Fiji can give more to the economy.
For a long time we have underestimated the power of the rural economy, we can bring it back,” he said. “This is one small town that is very fortunate because the two leaders in agriculture market are here in Navua.” “I’ve always talked about creating the environment. People can be poor now, but after a few years if we do it right, we will just lift the rural economy. So, let’s do it right.” Minister Seruiratu urged DAC members to establish partnerships with communities.
He said this could assist in the implementation of developments by the Ministry. He also reiterated the need for DAC members to remind members of their respective communities about building their houses to standards to ensure their protection and also minimal loss from future disasters.
As part of the meeting today, Heads of Departments (HODs) from various Government ministries and organisations also briefed the Hon. Minister on the progress of their operations within the provinces of Serua and Namosi.
More than 70 per cent of the population in the province of Serua fall under the DACs, while only 20 per cent of the population within the Namosi province are being served by DAC members.