Government is working towards the formalization of two informal settlements in Vunivau, Labasa.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Kumar Bala during consultations with residents of Vunivau A and Vunivau B last night.
Bala said that this follows a request by the residents during one of his visits to the area.
“In that meeting I assured the people of Vunivau that we will liaise with the Mataqali through TLTB and we will ask for their partnership so that we can develop this area and issue all of you a 99 year lease,” Mr Bala said.
“I am here to inform you that now you have to work with my team on the ground. In two weeks’ time they will be here conducting the ground survey.”
Minister Bala added that Government has paid the premium to the landowners and residents would not have to pay land rent to the iTaukei Land Trust Board until their 99 year leases are finalized.
This was well received by the residents and they have commended Government for considering their plights and addressing them.
One of the residents, 66 year old Tara Wati said that this meant a lot to her and her family as they rely on social welfare assistance and odd jobs for survival.
“I am so happy because this would mean that I would not have to pay $500 every year for the rent and also we will finally know the peripheries of our compounds,” Ms Wati said.
“A 99 year lease will benefit our children and now there will be more development opportunities. I am so grateful to the Government for this assistance.”
There are 415 homes at Vunivau A and 358 at Vunivau B.