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Fiji Time: 10:32 AM on Saturday 2 August

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Town council helps dwellers

Repeka Nasiko
Friday, January 25, 2013

THE Ba Town Council is paving the way for a better future for its informal dwellers.

Embarking on an ambitious project to build about 240 residential lots at Clopcott Settlement on the outskirts of Ba Town, the council hopes the new venture will give the informal dwellers better standards of living and access to better services and facilities like their rate-paying counterparts.

Special administrator Arun Prasad said the initiative was the result of a growing population of squatter settlements in Ba.

Mr Prasad said the need to set up residential lots was imperative as people began to move into these informal settlements.

"The Proposed Squatter Settlement sub-division project is our answer to this problem. We will start first with Clopcott Settlement which is one of five informal settlements we have in Ba," Mr Prasad said.

"Here we have begun clearing land and trees to make way for more than 240 lots.

"One of the great things about this area too is that it is a flood-free area."

This week the council received confirmation that $280,000 has been promised by the government and donor agencies for the project.

Local Government Ministry housing director Kolinio Bola confirmed that about $200,000 would be given for the project while $80,000 would be given by the People's Community Network and City Wide.

Mr Prasad said the money would be used to assist families whose homes fell in the way of the new development.

He said residents living in squatter settlements in Ba should make use of this new opportunity.

"They have to take it upon themselves to strive for better living conditions and we at the council are offering them that so they will be able to live on proper leased lands."

Mr Prasad also refuted claims that squatters were unable to afford the lots.

"I don't know about other places but here we have been monitoring those living in squatter settlements and most of them are market vendors, taxi and carrier drivers, people who have a job and are earning money, so they can afford it," he said.


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