THREE years after the sinking of the Bawaqa, the people of Yasawa are desperate for a shipping service to ensure their livelihoods.
Their problems with transportation was made known to the Constitution Commission team during its trip to the islands last week.
Yasawa-i-Rara native Peni Tui said villagers have been hit hard with high hire boat fares.
He said despite numerous requests during the district and provincial meetings nothing had been done to solve the problem.
The Bawaqa, formerly known as the Katavatu, used to service the islands until it hit the reef near Viwa and sank in September 2009.
Mr Tui said the transportation issue had affected the livelihood of villagers because they couldn't take farm products to the market.
"We are requesting the government to provide a franchise shipping services to the people of Yasawa like they have for Lau, Lomaiviti and Kadavu provinces," he said.
"We are now using commercial boats for transportation because we don't have any other option."
Malakati village headman Laisiasa Revaiwai echoed similar sentiments.
Lautoka Yasawa district officer Ruth Atu said the government was doing its best to assist the islanders overcome the problem.
"We are aware of the problems faced by the people of Yasawa and we have put forward a request to have franchise shipping in the islands," he said.
"At the same time we have also discussed with a hotel operator in Yasawa for a commercial boat to assist the villagers.
"A commercial boat is operating two days per week covering the area that used to be serviced by the Bawaqa."
Mr Tui said some villagers paid more than $500 for transportation expenses from Yasawa-i-Rara to Lautoka.
Constitution Commission chairman Professor Yash Ghai said from their observation, the problem was a critical one.