THE people of Rabi are blessed with an abundance of natural resources, says Rabi Council of Leaders director Marlie Rota.
She said the abundant resources surrounding them had been income-generating projects for the islanders for years.
"We approached the problems of the communities on the island of Rabi and found out ways in which we could address this issue with the very resources within our reach," said Mrs Rota.
"One of the strengths we identified as a community was our familiarity with the sea and our skills in procuring the many resources from the marine environment.
"We then identified the need to have an ice plant that would help our fishermen preserve their fish so it could be sold in the fresh state they were procured from the sea.
"Our fishermen have a hard time buying ice from Savusavu as they have to pay $400 for six bags of ice which is not enough to keep the fish."
Mrs Rota said even when the ice brought from Savusavu reached the village, it would have melted because of the distance between Savusavu and the island.
"The ice would already melted and this did not help very much in the preservation of fish.
"With the recent opening of the ice plant in Rabi, it will not only help preserve our fish but also provide chances to our neighbouring villages in the districts of Tunuloa and Natewa to also preserve their fish before selling it at the market."
The people of Rabi Island witnessed the opening of their $140,000 ice plant on Tuesday by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama during his visit there.