VILLAGERS within the district of Udu on Vanua Levu have voiced their concerns on the lack of an ice plant in the area to service coastal villagers.
Qaranivai Village headman Jone Batisova said fishermen throughout the district found it difficult to preserve their fish and other sea produce for the Labasa market.
Mr Batisova said villagers usually ended up selling pre-cooked fish and other molluscs so they could be sold at the market.
"We are surrounded by the sea and it is very much part of our livelihood and an income earner among our people," he said.
"However, without an ice plant, we have not been able to preserve these marine produce so that they could be sold at the Labasa market."
Macuata provincial administrator Josefa Rokonai said the area had been initially given three big refrigerators for the said purpose.
"However, the refrigerators were not used and lay idle for two months before we retrieved them," Mr Rokonai said.
"The refrigerators have been re-issued to coastal villages where they were needed.
'Government is ready to assist coastal villagers, however, they need to play their part and assure us that they are putting our assistance to good use."
Mr Rokonai added that plans were underway for the establishment of an ice plant at Lagi Village in the near future to service the area.
"It will be completed within two years from now according to plans."