GREAT POTENTIAL EXISTS ON ISLAND OF OVALAU
MINISTER SERUIRATU HIGHLIGHTS THIS AFTER RETURNING FROM TWO-DAY TOUR WITH PRIME MINISTER VOREQE BAINIMARAMA
Ovalau has potential that can be used to improve rural livelihoods. This was highlighted by Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu, following the conclusion of the two-day tour of the Eastern Division by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday.
He said Government had undertaken projects on Ovalau and it looked forward to the continuation of more developments in the coming financial year.
“I did talk about potentials. Again, this is where the co-ordination with key agencies is so critical because Ovalau has a lot of resources that can be well utilised to improve the rural communities’ livelihoods and of course contribute to the growth and development of the country,” the minister said. Mr Seruiratu and other Cabinet Ministers had accompanied the PM on the tour. During the tour, the Government delegation visited rural communities on Ovalau, met and listened to members of the public about some of their concerns. There were issues concerning infrastructure developments and improvements, rural electrification, communication, water and environmental issues that were raised during the talanoa sessions. Mr Seruiratu described the tour as “very successful and fruitful”. “It was an opportunity to visit the projects that have been completed and at the same time, hold discussions with the rural communities and key stakeholders of Ovalau, the business community, the administrators in Levuka and of course Government officials and other stakeholders,” he said.
“We have also had the opportunity to listen to the rural communities. Of course, there are issues in regards to Government’s services that need to be addressed and we have given the assurance to them that we will continue to work on the services that need to be improved and of course ensuring that no one is left behind.
“We have heard the civil servants as well. There were some issues that they did raise that the Commissioner Eastern will look into. There are some limitations and constraints in Levuka because of it being a heritage town, but of course the CEO of Levuka Town Council has given his assurance in terms of the facilitation of work, particularly in the renovation of quarters, office buildings and schools.
“It is very critical for the population here in Levuka; the need for more housing because Government is decentralising its services and a lot of Government officials are moving in to Levuka through the various ministries and agencies and they need to be provided with proper housing and offices as well. We will look into their concerns.”
The two-day tour ended yesterday.
Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu with school children of Tokou Village on Ovalau.