Posts tagged infrastructure

Tavua Families Thank Bainimarama Government for New Homes

Two families in Tavua today thanked the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama and government after receiving the keys to their new homes.

Their homes were destroyed by Hurricane Evan in December last year and were rebuilt through government’s rehabilitation assistance programs.

Utam Singh and Sunil Kumar of Maqere, Tavua said they could not thank government enough for coming to their aid after losing their homes.

“I would like to thank Mr Bainimarama and government for building my home,” said Mr Kumar who resides with his wife and three children.

“I work as a labourer and I could not afford to rebuild my home after the cyclone as I don’t earn enough and I never thought government will help my family but I thank them for our new home.”

“I want this government to continue because they have done a lot for Fiji.”

Tavua’s Government District Officer Ravuama Nagatalevu said government was adamant that all those who were affected would have their lives restored to normalcy. He said that this included the need for ordinary Fijians to have access to basic housing after the hurricane.

Fijian Prime Minister Voreque Bainimarama’s speech at the Launching of the Dairy Industry in the West

Yalalevu, BA

The CEO and Staff of Southern Cross Foods;

Distinguished Guests which includes our Farmers;

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Ni sa Bula vinaka and a very good morning to you all.

I’m delighted to again be in Ba – one of the most vibrant and progressive commercial centers in Fiji – and especially for this event, the opening of the first chilling center in the Western Division and handing over of cows and milk cans.

Nothing is more important to Fiji’s future than for us to become self-sufficient in food production.

This is especially so in the case of the Milk Industry, where our reliance on imports is unacceptably high.

As a nation, we consume around 77 million liters of milk annually but we produce only 10 or 11 million liters.

There is a huge shortfall which provides a fantastic opportunity for farmers and investors to make sustained livelihoods and profits from milk production.

My Government has provided various incentives to encourage investment in farming and in this instance dairy farming by way of tax breaks, reduction in tariff rates and specific funding through the Ministry of Agriculture.

However, today’s event of the opening of the first such chilling plant in the Western Division has been made possible because my Government has facilitated private sector investment.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we always need to think outside the box – not be constrained unnecessarily by the practices of the past but to actively seek new ways of doing things.

We need to modernize and become efficient without losing sight of the need to provide sustained livelihood and opportunities for all.

This philosophy underpins my Government’s economic program.

Such an approach assists the poor, creates jobs and opportunities and sustained livelihoods that flow from encouraging investment through a transparent system.

Following the reform of Rewa Dairy Co-Operative Limited and which saw the name change to Fiji Dairy Limited and the separation of the processing arm from the production, which led to the formation of Fiji Dairy Co-operative Limited, Southern Cross Foods Limited following a bidding process, purchased the processing arm.

This reform, Ladies and Gentlemen, meant the end of corruption, mismanagement, outdated technology, stagnation and inefficiency. It now, amongst other things, means focused attention on milk production and animal husbandry by the Ministry of Agriculture and the farmers, it means the introduction of new technology and it means the expansion of the Dairy Industry into new areas of Fiji.

This is how we are here today. Another chilling center we understand will soon be commissioned in Yaqara.

The draft Constitution on which you had consultations here in Ba yesterday, incorporates a number of first time provisions including an extensive Bill of Rights. The proposed Bill of Rights includes a number of first time socio-economic rights. For example, the right to economic participation means that every Fijian will have the right to freely and fully participate in the“economic life of the nation which includes the right to choose their own work, trade, occupation, profession and other means of livelihood.”

While the expansion of the Bill of Rights will place an obligation on future elected governments to cater for these rights, my Government has already started work in this area – a manifestation of that is today. By expanding the Dairy Industry to the Western Division and providing the resources to our citizens, we are increasing their ability to participate in the economic life of our nation.

We of course want a just society, a prosperous society, a caring society, one in which all of us enjoy equal opportunity for ourselves and our children and are judged on our merits as individuals.

I take this opportunity to urge you all to make your submissions on the draft constitution. A constitution needs to be finalized very soon so we can have elections by 30 September 2014.

I wish to pay tribute today to the work of both Southern Cross Foods Limited on its collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture.

I encourage more Fijians to take advantage of this exciting collaboration. With the diverse opportunities created by this collaboration, dairy farming can provide a healthy return for those willing to invest in just a few cows, let alone a big herd.

So I’d encourage more Fijians to take up dairy farming and more Fijians to buy local milk products rather than choose the imported varieties.

By choosing Fiji Dairy Products, you buy Fijian and make your own little investment on and contribution to our economic future.

Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you.

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.

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s Speech at the Opening of New Lautoka Wharf Waiting Shed

It gives me much pleasure to be here with you today to open the Lautoka Wharf Waiting Shed.

A shed might seem like a small thing to some people. But to the people who travel between the Yasawas and Viti Levu, whether they do so for their living, to reunite with family, or to take care of personal business, a waiting shed is a very significant  infrastructure.

It certainly is not a small thing for my Government.

To my Government, there are no “small things” when it comes to the welfare of the people of Fiji.

There are no “small things” when it comes to providing the infrastructure that allows our people to work and produce. There are no “small things” because there are no small people in Fiji.

Today marks a new beginning, because this structure will provide a decent place for the people who commute to and from Yasawa to rest after a long journey by sea and to wait in some comfort for the return trip. It also provides some enterprising women and men the opportunity to sell good, well prepared food to hungry travellers. It will also be a place from where art and handmade products can be sold. Here we can encourage people who visit on cruise ships to buy locally made products directly from the people who produce them. As you know my Government has launched the buy Fijian and Fijian made campaign.

So this shed will serve our rural outer islands population both socially and economically.  And at a cost of $40,000, we can say two things. First, it is well worth the cost—a bargain, really. Second, why wouldn’t we build more of these? And the answer is that we will.

My Government plans to build other waiting sheds at strategic locations around Fiji to enable sea travellers and seafarers alike to rest and sell their goods.

But the shed is part of a bigger picture. Indeed, sheds like this are just one part of the infrastructure to support the entire wharf development in Lautoka–like the ice plant and the services provided by the Fisheries Department.

We dedicate this shed to the memory of the late Apolosi Boleanamate, who was then the Mata representing the Tikina of Waya, may he rest in peace. It was his idea and his desire to serve the people of Yasawa—and all Fijians–that led us to this day. He served his country with distinction as a soldier and a champion of social justice—a true son of Yasawa.

Ladies and Gentlemen, before I declare this shed open, I would like to remind you that our path to parliamentary democracy is before us. It is marked by a new Constitution and it will take us to elections next year.

We will always have to work to perfect our system. But we know where it begins. It begins here, with a Constitution.

I urge you all to comment on the draft constitution. Remember, you are now our Constituent Assembly.

Every Fijian holds in his or her heart and mind the ability to be part of a critical moment in our history—the moment when we chart a true democratic future

And now, I am proud to declare that the “Boleanamate Memorial Shed” is open.

Vinaka Vakalevu, Thank you.

Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s Speech at the Opening of the Korovuto Irish Crossing

Bula Vinaka and good afternoon to you all.

I am very happy to be with you in Korovuto to officially open the new Mate Road Bridge.

Today marks a new beginning for this community. Your old crossing was severely damaged after the 2007 and 2009 floods, which as we all know devastated the Western Division.

These floods – and the two last year – destroyed crops, homes and businesses. It also had a severe impact on the day to day lives of the Fijians living in this community.

The damage to the bridge was left unattended, and the people have suffered for it. When this matter was brought to my attention several months ago, I immediately understood the urgency of the problem

This bridge is a life-line for the people who rely on it. It provides hundreds of Fijians access to towns and hospitals. It provides children access to schools. And it provides farmers access to markets.

In Korovuto, the main industry is sugar. The sugar cane growers rely on this bridge to transport their cane to Lautoka Mill.

To the sugar farmers here today:

I urge you to make the most of this bridge. Currently, the local productivity per hectare is low.

You need to work with FSC and the Ministry for Sugar to implement best practices, and possibly introduce new varieties of sugar cane.

Under the Sugarcane Industry Strategic Action Plan, our national target is 47 tonnes per hectare in 2013 and 70 tonnes per hectare by 2017. There is no reason that the farmers in this area cannot meet those targets with the right guidance, assistance and attitude. If we are focused and we remove the politics from sugar we can achieve these targets even sooner.

To all of you here today:

I urge you to look for new ways to make productive use of this new bridge, whether it’s opening up new land for sugar cultivation, commercially farming other crops or rearing livestock. The $269,000 spent by Government is a small price compared to the many exciting new economic opportunities this bridge will afford you.

As I have said many times before, my Government’s most important task is to deliver better services to the Fijian people.

We all know how easy it is to make promises. For too many former politicians, promises were just words used to win government.

My Government is different. Whether it is building new schools, roads and bridges or fixing up old ones; whether it is providing new services or making the existing services run better; whether it is supporting the old industries that Fijians rely on for a living or helping create new ones.

Our commitment to the Fijian people is etched in each cinder block of that new school and paved in each meter of that new road or bridge. All these projects serve as visible reminders that we the Government are accountable to you the people.

As many of you may know, last week I announced the draft constitution for Fiji.

I am encouraged by much of the discussion and debate that has begun to take place, but I am also concerned by the efforts of some individuals and NGOs who are trying to misrepresent and mislead.

I encourage each of you to read the draft constitution for yourselves. You need to make up your own mind

I am personally very proud of the draft constitution. For the first time in Fiji’s history it guarantees socio-economic rights for every Fijian.

What are these? These include rights to housing and sanitation, reasonable access to transportation, education, adequate food, clean water, a just minimum wage, social security schemes, health services and sanitation. And they also include specific rights for children and the disabled.

Day-to-day issues such as these were the focus of many submissions made by ordinary Fijians to the Ghai Commission. That is why I am so proud they are included in the draft

This is your Constitution. It ensures that power lies with Parliament, which is elected and accountable to you the people. There is even a provision that allows for a referendum. None of Fiji’s previous constitutions has ever given so much direct power to the will of the people.

It creates a Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission and an Accountability and Transparency Commission. None of Fiji’s previous constitutions has ever created such bodies to keep public officials, civil servants and parliamentarians accountable and create transparency.

These provisions together with others will enable the Constitution to stand the test of time and will make it an enduring foundation for a new Fiji.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would now like to thank all those involved with this project, including the team at the Ministry of Sugar and Returned Services League (RSL) and the Agro Development Corporation.

I would also like to acknowledge the many former members of the RFMF who worked on this project, whose commitment to the Fijian people has lasted even after their service has ended.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is now my great pleasure to officially open the Mate Road Bridge.

Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you.

PM Voreqe Bainimarama Opens Taveuni South Secondary School

PM Bainimarama Opens Lamiti Crossing

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama Opens Biofuel Mill in Qarani – Gau

PM Bainimarama Meets with Coastal Villagers

Villagers in the coast of  Wainigadru in the province of Cakaudrove thanked Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama for his government’s reforms and for his own commitment to empowering the lives of ordinary Fijians.

The Prime Minister met with villagers yesterday after assessing rehabilitation works undertaken in the village following the destruction of most homes during Hurricane Evan. Soldiers from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces  were deployed to the village to assist in the rehabilitation process including the construction of homes.

Wainigadru Village headman, Turaga Ni Koro Fasioko Bonefasiodreti commended the Prime Minister for the work undertaken by the RFMF to restore normalcy in their lives.

Yesterday’s visit to this isolated village follows the Prime Minister’s recent visit to Lovonidalo settlement in the Bua province this week. There, the head of government met with families who were severely affected, including those whose homes were completely destroyed.

The Prime Minister is continuing his tour of the Northern Division and is now in Rabi.

PM Bainimarama Promises New School Block

Students of Valebasoga Secondary School in Labasa will have a new school block after they made a request to the Government directly.

The students took part in the official opening of the Government Service Centre in Labasa, which was opened by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama this morning.

The head of Government spoke with the students and expressed his delight after hearing them sing the national anthem in all the three official languages.

Today’s event was an opportunity to meet with the Prime Minister directly, some of them for the first time.

The head of Government has commended the students for their hard work and has urged each one of them to continue working hard.

He has urged Government officials to begin the process of building a new school block.

Meanwhile, today the Prime Minister spoke directly to the staff at the Government Service Centre and emphasised to them on their role in the Government’s pursuit of development in the North.

Tui Macuata Ratu Aisea Katonivere commended Government on the move to establish a Government Service Centre in the North, which he highlighted, would boost Government’s presence.

He pointed out that while this new development has been long overdue, its opening today has been welcomed by the Northern community.