Government wants to ensure that rural Fijians in the Eastern Division are also involved in the development processes, says Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Inia Seruiratu.

Minister Seruiratu is one of the Cabinet Ministers accompanying the Prime Minister Hon.Voreqe Bainimarama on his two-day tour of the Eastern Division in Ovalau.

The tour is a continuation of the Hon.PM’s tour of rural areas in the four divisions.Hon.Seruiratu said this week’s visit was important because Ovalau was “very critical”, being the main center for the islands of Lomaiviti.

“They contribute a lot to the economy as well and help in providing for the livelihoods of the local communities,” he said.

“From the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development, we want to ensure that our rural communities enjoy all the benefits and the services provided by Government”

“For this visit, there are a few projects that are to be commissioned, but it is not only about the commissioning of projects.

The opportunity to have discussions with all the stakeholders and most importantly looking at the potential for development in Levuka and Ovalau is important as well.”

He said the visit to Ovalau was also an opportunity for the Hon. PM and the Cabinet Ministers to interact with the people and share with them the development plans that were in place for Ovalau and the Lomaiviti province.

“As Minister responsible for rural development, the Eastern Division has a lot of challenges particularly because of its geographical layout but that does not mean that Government has neglected its responsibility.

We want to ensure that they are involved, not only in terms of the projects but of course in the development processes as well and that’s why it’s important that their voices are heard and their issues addressed as well.”

The Government delegation which was led by the Hon. PM arrived on Ovalau yesterday. As part of yesterday’s programme, the Hon. PM handed over the Yavusa Waidau freehold land titles at Navuloa Village before officially commissioning the Levuka Public School’s boys hostel.

The tour ends today.

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