TWO hundred years later, the legends and tales of Navinoti have finally come true in the highlands.
According to the paramount chief of Savatu, the Tui Cawanisa, Ratu Semisi Ketewai, the tales of their forefathers have come to pass with the successful completion of the $300million Nadarivatu Hydro-electric scheme.
He said the site where the dam was located had been prophesied by their forefathers to one day bring light, money and prosperity to the highlanders.
The 86-year-old chief said the dam site was a promised land to his people and he was fortunate to be alive and to witness the materialisation of a legend.
"I was only a little boy when I used to hear tales that the land would bring development and money to our people," said Ratu Semisi.
"This story was passed on from generations to generations for about 200 years and I thank the Almighty God for allowing me to witness this historic occasion that has brought about developments in my district.
"The name of the place where the dam is located is called Navinoti, meaning money factory in the Savatu dialect. I am fortunate to be still alive and to witness that the ancestral predictions of this land has finally come true."
Ratu Semi said six villages in the district had been supplied with electricity, something they had only dreamt of since the commissioning of the Monasavu Hydro dam in 1983.
"Over the years we have been pleading for the government to provide us with electricity since we are close to Monasavu. And today the dream has come true to the six villages in Savatu District with the development brought about by the construction of the Nadarivatu Hydro-electric power scheme. New roads are being built, water supply improved, more than 200 villagers have been employed and most importantly our school students also have the privilege of studying under bright lights compared to the kerosene lamps we used to have for decades," he said.
Ratu Semi said the descent of a large group of senior government officials and invited guests in the hinterlands during the dam opening was an emotional moment for him.
"Who would have thought that all these top government officials would converge here in the highlands of Ba, hundreds of miles away from the comfort of their various offices.
"This is one of the happiest moments in my life and I am so happy to be alive and witness the sea of colours from different walks of lives gathering on my land," he said.
FEA board chairman Nizam-ud-Dean said the company was grateful to have assisted in improving the lives of the villagers and landowners.
"One of the spin-offs of this project is that the surrounding villages have secured jobs and infrastructure and roads are being built," he said.
"Apart from these developments we have supplied electricity into their homes something they have never seen before, it's like icing on the cake."