THE high cost of carrier fares from Nukulau Village in Ra to the nearest shopping centre in town is a huge burden on the villagers.
And to lighten the load, the Nukulau Womens Group is banding together to extend a small canteen in the village to a fully-stocked mini supermarket.
Group representative Paulini Tinai was present when Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Doctor Jiko Luveni visited Matawailevu Village in Ra last week.
Mrs Tinai voiced her concerns, speaking on behalf of her villagers and pleaded for government assistance to help them with the extension of the canteen.
"At the moment, we are just selling basic items like flour, rice and sugar," the 73-year-old said.
"It costs us $12 one way just to travel to town to buy our groceries and return to the village. It is really hard for us to spend that much money on transport.
"That is why we are so keen on working on this project because we know that once we are able to extend this canteen and sell a range of products, people will not have to pay money to travel a distance to get basic necessities for their family."
Dr Luveni informed the women that officials from the ministry would visit the village to make further assessments.