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Fiji Time: 4:20 AM on Saturday 30 August

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Settlers refuse to move

Maciu Malo
Saturday, December 08, 2012

PEOPLE living in Navutu, Nasoata and Nasinu settlements outside Lautoka City are refusing to be relocated.

They voiced their concerns to Local Government and Housing Minister Colonel Samuela Saumatua at Navutu on Thursday.

Navutu settlers' spokesman Suliasi Koroi said more than 140 families resided at these settlements and they would be affected if they were to be relocated.

"This place holds a special place in our hearts and we don't want to move away from here," Mr Koroi said.

"This land was given to our forefathers to stay on because they were working at the Fiji Sugar Corporation and until now most of us are also working there which is just walking distance from here.

"Most of us were born here and we are now grandfathers which is why this place is so dear to us.

"We don't want to move anywhere else and we want the government to hear our request."

In response, Col. Saumatua said the settlers were supposed to be relocated since some families had already moved to Drasa.

"We are here to hear the voices of the people and we are here to find out what the people want because we want to look at the rehabilitation of these settlements," said Col. Saumatua.

"So we have come today to speak to the people and it seems there have been some confusion in the administration and so forth, so until we clear that up we can't move ahead with the rehabilitation.

"They were supposed to move but some of them have reasons to believe that they can also stay, therefore we need to sort out these differences so whether they move or stay we're clear on what we're going to do."


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