200 villagers of Barotu Village in Rakiraki are expected to benefit from a foot-crossing bridge which has been commissioned by the Minister for Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment, Dr. Mahendra Reddy.
Barotu village headman, Maciusela Tulewa says this is a big help to the villagers as the whole village faced difficulty in crossing, especially children and women, who had no choice but to cross over on a piece of timber and a coconut trunk.
Dr. Reddy says initiatives such as the foot crossing program is a national priority to assist rural and outer island communities meet their basic needs, improve living standards and quality of life towards becoming self-sufficient.
Dr. Reddy also stresses the need for villagers to safeguard their environment from degradation and to refrain from unnecessary deforestation, highlighting the importance of maintaining a healthy mangrove and ridge for the safety and livelihood of the village.
Elders of the village were also encouraged to teach their children to keep away from drugs and illegal activities as it would have negative impacts for the village’s future.
The foot crossing bridge will also consist of solar lights which will allow the villagers to cross safely during night time.
100 coconut seedlings were also distributed to the village as part of the Ministry’s Food Security Program.
This project is part of the “Hop-Skip & Jump” foot-crossing program which is fully funded by the government and is expected to assist 52 communities around Fiji.
The project will approximately cost a quarter million dollars.
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