Uto ni Yalo in partnership to revive Moala, Matuku cottage industries projects
The Uto Ni Yalo Trust hopes to salvage the dilo (ball nut) business by reviving cottage industries on Moala and Matuku islands. Trust secretary Dwain Qalovaki said previously the cottage industry has been hindered by lack of sea transportation. “The dilo tree grows in abundance on these two islands, dilo is a high value commodity for cosmetics,” Mr Qalovaki said.
Dilo is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list of threatened species. “Dilo is an ideal commodity to begin transporting back to the Fijian capital city,” he said. “This partnership blends faith-based conservation with ensuring livelihoods between the communities, Methodist Church in Fiji Moala division with buyers to be prearranged and the Uto ni Yalo Trust.” Mr Qalovaki said ninety percent of all goods is transported by sea using vessels that are predominately powered by fossil fuels.
“Through funding from the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme, the Uto ni Yalo is demonstrating how low carbon sea transport can offset Fiji’s fossil fuel reliance and become a viable option for cargo transfer from remote maritime islands,” he said.
The 72 foot double hulled sailing vessel Uto ni Yalo is equipped with high efficiency solar panels that power its twin propulsion system and wind sails.
It is on a 375 five nautical mile voyage to the Lau archipelago as part of its effort to demonstrate how sustainable sea transportation can become a viable option for carrying high value cargo from remote maritime communities to markets in Fiji’s main island.
The Lau voyage to Moala and Matuku island over nine days, began on August 11 and took over two days to reach the first island.
“Our focus is to assess existing resources on these islands and present opportunities to create a cottage industry that was previously hindered by lack of sea transportation,” he said. The 16-member voyaging crew will also conduct a beach clean up along the shoreline of both islands in order to understand the types and quantities of non biodegradable waste found and present the information back to the community with options for safe disposal.