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Fiji Time: 7:06 AM on Wednesday 3 September

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A better life in Drasa

Maciu Malo
Friday, December 14, 2012

THE 50 former Navutu settlers who now reside at Vanuakula in Drasa, Lautoka are coping well — 17 years after their relocation.

Manasa Seruisavou, one of the descendants of the first Solomon Islanders that settled in Navutu, said the 50 families had recovered from the impact of relocation and were enjoying their stay in their new homes.

He said the families had settled in well and most unemployed youths and men started small scale farming.

"Most of the settlers here have consistently harvested cassava that has been sold at Navutu," said Mr Seruisavou.

"We are happy that we have a place to stay and we are thankful to the government for its assistance in funding the electricity supply to all our homes.

"Back in Navutu we were not supplied with electricity and this is one of the changes that we have seen here.

"Most of the unemployed are full-time cane cutters during the harvesting season."

Mr Seruisavou said the villagers pay $100 per year in annual rent to the Lands Department.

"The whole settlement pays $100 per year to the Lands Dept and this guarantees our stay there.We request the government if they could further assist the settlers with income-generating sources to supplement whatever income we earn."

Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki said the settlers could visit his office if they needed assistance.


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