The Prime Minister Honourable Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama commissioned a new vetiver nursery in Labasa.

The nursery is a project by the Ministry of Waterways, which is aimed at strengthening the shorelines of riverside communities.

This new nursery is complemented by two other similar projects; one in Nadi and the other in Nausori.

Prime Minister Bainimarama said at the event that these newly-planted fields of vetiver grass are already staving off floodwaters in more than 30 communities across Fiji.

“This nursery will consistently grow high-quality vetiver grass planting slips, creating a sustainable cycle of resilience-building that will steadily help adapt the North to climate impacts,” PM Bainimarama said.

“We must protect the beauty and bounty that Fijians in the North have known for generations and we must show the world how sustainable and resilient progress can chart the way forward to brighter days.”

The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to thank the Government of the Republic of Korea for providing funding assistance towards the newly-commissioned nursery, an investment that will help provide security to Fijian families for generations.

Some of the socio-economic benefits of this project include the provision of natural means of coastal erosion protection, improve climate-resilience and sustain livelihoods. It also assists in managing water catchments.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also handed over a new boat and engine worth about $23,740 to the Mali Development Committee and the Cokovata Qoliqoli owners.

The new boat will be used to safeguard the marine-protected areas in the Mali waters, monitor poaching and overfishing and also generate income for the villagers.

Mali District Representative Mr Seru Moce conveyed the villagers’ appreciation to the government, adding the new boat will certainly assist them in a big way.

“We only requested the government through the Minister for Waterways last month and today, we’re receiving our new boat with its engine,” he said.

“We are indeed grateful because this boat will not only generate extra income for us but also assist us with monitoring our waters.

“Thank you very much to the Prime Minister and his government for the timely assistance.”

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