Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama – Speech to Fijians at the Opening of Seniyaya Water Project

The Commissioner Western;

Special Administrator of Lautoka City;

Invited guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Thank you for extending an invitation to me to officiate in the opening of the Seniyaya Water Project.

The community began this project in 2010, when this was just an informal settlement. But with the iTaukei Land Trust Board now able to regularize their tenancy, the people here will soon have a proper subdivision.

A proper subdivision needs modern infrastructure, and of course, that means water first and foremost. So today we begin a new era in your community.  This new water source will give access to clean and safe drinking water, will raise your living standards and help you keep yourself and your children healthy.

My Government takes pride in keeping our promises. We deliver what we say we will deliver, and this water project is a good example. I wish I could take all the credit, but I am very pleased to share it with you, the community of Seniyaya.

You contributed more than two-thirds of the cost of this project. This shows the nation and the world what Fijians can do when they are determined.

You didn’t wait passively for the Government to assist you. You built an informal settlement and transformed it into a village community by through your sweat and ingenuity. And you invested your hard-earned dollars in your community—in each other. This is the spirit that will take Fiji forward.

A wise Government listens to its people and lets the people also show the way. That is what you have done here.

I want all the people of Fiji to have clean and safe drinking water no matter where they live. Indeed access to clean drinking will be a right of every Fijian as set out under the draft constitution.

I am also proud to say that after the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Evan in December 2012, the first three homes to be reconstructed in Fiji with the assistance from my Government were from this community. Right to housing is also a right under the draft constitution.

I am positive that the water project and the subdivision of your land will help make this a community where families will thrive for generations to come. The water is important, of course, but it is a first step. This community will thrive and grow because of you—because of the hard work, dedication, and care with which you are building Seniyaya every day. Pass that spirit to your children, and this community’s future will be secure.

Thank you for inviting me here to share with you this important moment.  Now, before we officially open the spigot, let me ask for your support. People show their love of country by exercising their rights participating in their country’s important events.

We have an important event going on right now, the adoption of a new constitution.

I urge you all to contribute your comments on the draft constitution. All Fijians have the right to help us chart our future. It is important that you read it, understand it, and share your point of view with the Government. This draft constitution is a new beginning. We will have many decisions to make in the future, many debates, many times when we agree or disagree as a people. But the draft constitution, which is modern, just and forward looking will give us our framework as we make those decisions.

And now, let’s all get a drink. I am very pleased to declare the Seniyaya Water Project open.

Thank you. Vinaka vakalevu.