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Fiji Time: 11:18 AM on Saturday 19 April

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100K for village plans

Repeka Nasiko
Friday, January 25, 2013

NALOTAWA Village in the highlands of Ba has been given an extra $100,000 by the Local Government Ministry for sustainable housing, agro forestry and eco tourism projects.

Beginning last year, the cost of the projects has totalled $200,000 so far, with funding expected to span a three-year period as the projects progress.

Housing director, Kolinio Bola said the projects were designed to offer self-sustainable income for the villagers.

"About 100 families will be gaining from these projects and if we multiply that by five people in each family, then the assistance is benefiting 500 people," he said.

"The estimated income derived from these projects for each family is expected to be around $9000. So each family would be earning above the rural income threshold."

As part of the sustainable housing project, Mr Bola said the villagers were trained in cement making to address the issue of cyclone proof housing.

"We are trying to ensure they build homes that suffer minimal damage during cyclones," he said.

Another project is the replanting of about 100 sandalwood seedlings.

"We have seen that over the years, landslides occur during periods of heavy rain or during a cyclone and ultimately the lost soil also causes silt build-up at the bottom of the Ba River. This project is being done to address these issues."

The village also boasts poultry, potato and vegetable farms in addition to solar panels being built over its community hall to provide electricity for the village.