Partnerships between Government and communities are crucial for any development to take place.

This was reiterated by Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu during the commissioning of the Valebasoga borehole water project in Labasa this week.

Minister Seruiratu assured the community members that the Government was committed to building a better Fiji and all Fijians, especially children.

He said in order for such developments to happen, there need to be partnerships between Government and the people.

“The Government has a responsibility and of course the communities have their own responsibilities as well. There is an element of partnership that is important for any development to take place,” Minister Seruiratu said.

“Development is partnership. Government has a responsibility. We are trying to fix all your roads after TC Yasa and TC Ana. We’re trying to bring electricity, we’re trying to restore services in the hospitals and we’re trying to bring you clean drinking water. We are trying to send all your children to school and for them to get to school, they need to get on buses and carriers. That’s the wider responsibility of the Government but Government is not going to do everything for us. We are here to supplement self-reliance.”

He also said as Fijians, we needed to work hard to look after our families.

“I have been going around and there have been families who have lost their homes and I urge you that whatever little money that you have, let’s save it and invest it in your homes. If your homes are secure and if your homes are built to a standard, your families will not be affected. I hope that we will be taking that responsibility very seriously, particularly in protecting our families.”

Meanwhile, the borehole project will enable more than 20 families living within the Valebasoga community to have access to clean and safe drinking water as enshrined under the Bill of Rights in the 2013 Constitution.

The project was completed through a partnership between Government, the community and donors.

The Government had contributed $8,000 towards the project, while the community and donors contributed around $2,000 to complete the project.

Minister Seruiratu said water was a basic need like food and shelter and it was only right that community members at Valebasoga enjoyed the same level of access to this necessity.

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