It’s difficult to Understand those who oppose work to help the poor
Sometimes it is difficult to understand the mentality and rationale of some people, especially those who are opposed to the work being done by the FijiFirst Government.
This is more so on the work being carried out to enhance and improve the lives of ordinary Fijians, especially those who are at the bottom rung of the ladder. That means those who work a nine to five-shift but yet do not have enough finance to have their own homes or even afford a bit of luxury in life.
These are the people who will scrounge around for the cheapest rent, even if it meant having a little leak in the roof whenever it rains.
This Government has seen the plight of these people and said: We will improve your lives and narrow that gap that had widened each year between those in the rural and urban areas.
This week, one such project to improve the lives of such people has started and Government is making sure it is completed.
Previously, 39 hectares of native land lay idle at Tauvegavega in Ba and slowly, squatters started erecting their homes there.
Today the land has 350 sitting tenants. Government, through the hard work of Minister of Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport, Parveen Bala, stepped in and realising the plight of these people, decided to offer them land security with a 99-year lease.
Consultant surveyors are now marking the lots while Mr Bala has made sure that every one of those homes has piped water. Work will begin soon on the sewerage lines, upgrading of roads and the supply of electricity to the area.
On Monday, during the heat of the day, the Mr Bala led a group of Ba Town Council officials, consultants and TLTB officers through most of the 39 hectares, making sure that everything was being done.
The smiles on the residents’ faces said it all with one woman remarking – “we previously had sleepless nights but this Government has given us a new life. Every time we see Mr Bala we are so happy.” Government has paid the rental to the landowners. Another 550 lots are being prepared for people who are at that bottom rung category and have no home or property to their name.
Mr Bala said Government would help these poor people with $5000 to pay for their lots and further assist with $1000 to help build their homes.
But Mr Bala was angry at the same time at people (although he did not mention who) who continued to oppose this initiative and create a negative picture of the development.
“How can some say this is vote buying as I have been doing this for the past three years getting everything in order before we start developing the place,” he said. “I am talking about bread and butter issues where we are giving 900 poor people a chance to live an improved life with all modern facilities such as road, sewerage, water and electricity at their homes.
“Now tell me if this isn’t good then there is something wrong with those critics.”
The best people to answer this are probably the 350 sitting residents of Tauvegavega.
They know who came to their assistance and they will certainly not forget this.