Villagers of Vunidogoloa in the district of Koroalau in Cakaudrove have been urged to build resilience and utilise available resources for sources of income and improved livelihoods.
Prime Minister Honourable Sitiveni Rabuka visited the village today where he stressed the importance of working together as a community to develop their homes.
Vunidogoloa is the first village in Fiji to have relocated about nine years ago as a result of sea-level rise.
Prime Minister Rabuka thanked the villagers for displaying resilience in almost every area of their lives.
The villagers have taken the initiative to extend their own homes and also work together to complete village projects.
Vunitogoloa has been used a positive relocation model and a classic example of a partnership project between the government and the community.
PM Rabuka reminded the villagers to become socially-independent and not rely on the government all the time for assistance.
He also highlighted that children must continue to learn from their elders and to live a respectful life as he believes that obedience and unity commands God’s blessings.
In further advising the youths and children, the head of the coalition government encouraged them to stay away from marijuana and other drugs as bigger and better things were in store for them.
The meeting was also an opportunity for the Prime Minister to clear concerns about VAT increase in Fiji.
He told the villagers that they should not worry should there really be an increase, given the fact that they are land and resource owners.
For this, he said that the villagers need to toil the land more to diversify into income-generating projects.
PM Rabuka, at the meeting, informed the villagers that the coalition government and civil servants were “here to assist ordinary Fijians”.
Speaking on behalf of the villagers, Mr Sailosi Ramatu sincerely thanked the previous and present governments for never “failing them”.
With only a few months into office, Mr Ramatu added that Prime Minister Rabuka is a man of his words and they believed the coalition Government “is here to listen”.
He said they would continue to tap on the doors of relevant government departments and ministries to assist them further with their development plans and projects.
At the meeting, issues and concerns were raised directly to the Prime Minister and these included road infrastructure, electricity, water, agricultural assistance, and other socio-economic needs.
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