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Squatters to be moved

Maciu Malo
Sunday, January 27, 2013

ATTEMPTS will be made by government to relocate people living in squatter settlements says Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki.

In an interview with this newspaper yesterday, Cdr Cawaki said the government had secured a piece of land at Drasa outside Lautoka town to relocate these settlers.

He said the relocation of squatters had been a pending issue for many years.

"This year we will make sure that all people living in Lautoka squatter settlements are relocated," Cdr Cawaki said.

"The land has been subdivided at Drasa and we will start with the relocation soon.

"The government is making every effort to get rid of all illegal settlements so they can enjoy public services and infrastructure development.

"As for Navutu settlers, the government has reached an ultimatum for the settlers to be relocated this year since the area they are residing on is an industrial zone."

Cdr Cawaki said one of the disadvantages faced by settlers was that there was hardly any assistance given by government for the damages caused by Tropical Cyclone Evan.

"House repairs and assistance were mainly aimed for those living in villages while those living in squatter areas have been assisted by non-governmental organisations.

"The government will only build houses on land that has legal leases or those in villages. We will not be building new homes for those people in squatter settlements whose homes were damaged by the cyclone."

He added government officials would soon approach the settlers to discuss the relocation program.

Settlements in Lautoka are situated at Navutu, Lovu, Natabua seaside and Taiperia.