MEDIA RELEASE: PRIME MINISTER: BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE ON OUTER ISLANDS VITAL

BUILDING infrastructure for Fijians on the outer islands is one of the Bainimarama Government’s top priorities, said Prime Minister Josaia Bainimarama at the Lomaiviti Provincial Meeting this morning.

Speaking as chief guest at meeting, the Prime Minister provided those in attendance with an overview of the major work currently underway in the province.

He said that in 2014 alone $11.5 million has been allocated to the Eastern Division for development work.

“We have seen major developments in the improvement of roads, schools, hospitals, dispensaries, and wharves,” he said.

For roads, the Prime Minister said that the Fiji Roads Authority has already completed road works on Ovalau, adding that the new roads on Gau and Koro are expected to be largely completed by the end of the year.

The Prime Minister said that rural electrification in the province is progressing well and that villages from Nauouo to Rukuruku and Cawatara on Ovalau now have electricity as a result of these efforts.

The Prime Minister explained that health services are steadily being improved, notably with the construction of new nurses’ quarters on Batiki.

He mentioned that foot-bridges on Lamiti, Qarani, Gau have already been completed and that work is currently underway for foot-bridges on Ovalau and Malawai to make the trip to hospitals, schools and markets easier for the local communities.

Touching on an area of great importance for Fijians living on outer islands, the Prime Minister mentioned that two new ships have been purchased by Government to service these islands, with a third expected soon.

He also mentioned that the $11 million wharf in Qarani is expected to be completed by September and that work on the new District Officer (DO) station on Gau has already begun in earnest.

The Prime Minister also discussed development plans for the province for 2015, which include the construction of a DO station on Koro, the construction of a morgue on Koro, the completion of bridge in Levuka, and a river wall in Tokou.

The Prime Minister said that Government has also been continuously working to engage local people in income generating projects so that they can provide a living for themselves and their families.

“Improving the livelihood of Fijians and working at eradicating poverty is central to my Government’s development plans for the province,” he said.