The People’s Coalition Government is actively engaged in termite infestation management strategies with more emphasis on collaboration and awareness.
Earlier today, the Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Sakiusa Tubuna officiated at the second stakeholders meeting on Termite Control Planning where he stressed the need for more active participation from relevant authorities and the community at large.
As more homes continue to be infested with termites in the Western and Northern Divisions, and now in the Central Division, Hon. Tubuna revealed that funding has now been allocated for termite infestation control measures.
The Assistant Minister said that termite infestation, for the past 16 years, wreaked havoc on homes because of lack of action and attention from the government.
“Moving on from our last meeting, we are summoned to today’s meeting as our urgent attention is needed to pave a way forward in a few key areas such as policy changes, education and awareness, and monitoring and evaluation, among others,” he told those in attendance.
“On education and awareness, there is a need for social re-engineering. The focus of this is the holistic and overall change in mindset on how we look at things.
“The laidback attitude in taking things for granted needs to change. Fijians need to take ownership and responsibility. Many times it is our laxity and ignorance that aids the migration of termites.”
Hon. Tubuna also highlighted that our monitoring agencies need to take a step up in conducting thorough and meticulous inspection of contaminable material.
“It has almost been 15 years since an outbreak was first declared, yet somehow, we still have not been able to contain the spread of the Asian Subterranean Termite (AST) let alone eradicate it,” he stated.
“I need not re-emphasise the need for better collaboration, partnership and coordination of efforts to approach this common enemy and government will continue to support our fight against AST infestation.”
During the meeting, it was revealed that an allocation of $3 million has been set aside by government for relief packages on termite infestation.
The Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Social Protection Hon. Sashi Kiran was also part of the meeting and re-emphasised the urgent need to put “words into actions” for the sake of those affected by termite infestation.
Representatives from the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji,Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development were also present at today’s important meeting.