About 7000 villagers in the north of Taveuni will now have better access to essentials services and also travel freely following the commissioning of the new Waibula bridge this morning.
Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka commissioned the $2.5 million structure on the final day of his 10-day tour of the northern division.
According to Navakacoa village headman Mr Mikaele Tawake, the old bridge was very risky to the travelling population as it had already claimed five lives.
“During flooding,the seven villages located on the other side of the bridge were always affected. Students weren’t able to go to school and also the travelling villagers were deprived of reaching their destination,” he said.
“Villagers also found it difficult to access basic services and to transport their farm produce to the market.
“Life was always hard and we continued to request relevant authorities for assistance.
“Two years ago, our prayers were finally answered when work on this new bridge started.”
Mr Tawake said they were grateful to the previous government for starting the project and also to the coalition government for its completion.
Prime Minister Rabuka thanked the villagers for assisting government with the project, at the same time, urged them to be good caretakers of the bridge.
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