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Poor service affects villagers

Luke Rawalai
Thursday, March 20, 2014

THE villagers of Savusavuitaqa outside Labasa Town have been without a normal bus service for the past three weeks because of bad road conditions.

Village headman Luke Mataiciwa said the problem has had a huge impact on their daily movement.

Mr Mataiciwa said farmers who wanted to take their root crops and other produce to Labasa market had to either transport cargo on horseback or endured the one and a half hour walk from the village to the road junction with their cargo.

"The bus has stopped coming right up to the village because of the pathetic road condition and the fact that part of the roads have been washed away making the road just too narrow for vehicles to pass through," he said.

"The villagers have started joking about our dire situation calling it lima ki na lima (five to five) because there are only two bus services on the route — at 5am and 5pm.

"The villagers have to walk for another half an hour to reach Savusavuitaqa."

Mr Mataiciwa said students who attended school in Labasa often left the village at 3.30am for school and reached the village at 8.30pm.

"Our children are often exhausted in the morning from the long walk and their education is affected.

"Our road is serviced by the Dalip Chand bus company. We cannot blame the company for not coming to the village because the road is really in a deplorable state.

"We are seeking the assistance of the government and the Fiji Roads Authority to please look into our road problem."

Questions sent to the Fiji Roads Authority on Monday regarding the issue have remained unanswered.

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