THE government's decision to cease assistance for village halls and church buildings across the board has been done for a purpose, says Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Forests, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Minister Lieutenant Colonel Inia Seruiratu.
Responding to concerns raised by the people of Nadogo, Macuata, during a talanoa session at the government roadshow, Lt-Col Seruiratu said the government had other important areas to prioritise for development.
Speaking in the iTaukei language, he said the government was focusing on education, health and sanitation, rural electrification projects and water.
The prioritised areas for development, Lt-Col Seruiratu said did not mean the government would entirely sweep assistance on church buildings and halls under the carpet.
Instead, he said once the government had fulfilled its plans for the prioritised projects, it would look into assisting the people with their halls and churches.
Lt-Col Seruiratu said the focus of the government was to assist people with their basic needs such as water, food, health and sanitation.
If all goes according to plan, he said the government would reopen its assistance for halls and church buildings.
He pleaded with the public to take the initiative to hold hands and embark on income-generating means to help them with their village or district projects.
He said the government would step in at the right time to help.