Improving
the well-being of all Fijians remains a key Government priority in order to
reduce hindrances to the development of rural and maritime communities.

This was highlighted by the Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment, Dr. Mahendra Reddy while commissioning a foot crossing bridge at Nakuruwai Village, Noco in Rewa yesterday.

Minister
Reddy reiterated the Fijian Government’s commitment towards the protection and
development of rural and maritime communities for improved quality of life,
highlighting public service delivery being brought to rural communities to
address the disparity between rural and urban growth.

“Our Prime Minister noted that there was a lot of disparity in the growth and development in rural and maritime areas and urban areas with regards to the quality of health services, within the education sector, roads, water, electricity etc.

“The
quality of life in the rural and maritime area was much lower than what we had
in an urban area and our Prime Minister decided that one of his objectives
would be to ensure the quality of life for rural and maritime communities is
improved,” he said.

Reddy stressed the underlying objective was to provide equal opportunities to all Fijians to ensure rural and maritime communities were part of the growth and development process.

“Therefore it is important that we reach out to them and provide them with the basic infrastructure that will contribute towards their development and under this Government-led by our Prime Minister we are working very hard to secure and improve the livelihoods of rural and maritime communities,” said Hon. Reddy.

Meanwhile, 48-year-old Nakuruwai villager, Akosita Mataname thanked the Government for providing timely assistance to the village.

“This
is a happy moment for the village of Nakuruwai because this is the first time
any sort of help and development has come to the village and we are so thankful
indeed to the Government of the day,” she said.

“The villagers are very happy with the developments that are happening in the village from the Government and we are very thankful to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Waterways and Environment for providing this much-needed assistance to the village,” she said.

Mataname said the foot-crossing bridge would ease accessibility to and within the village and would ensure their produce was easily taken to transport out at sea.   

Before,
villagers encountered a lot of problems, especially in crossing the creek on a
piece of log to access farms and ease their passage to the sea as fishing and
farming was a main stay for Nakuruwai Village.

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