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Villagers use lease money to modify structure

Avinesh Gopal
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

SOME villagers have put aside their lease money to modify a structure constructed by their forefathers decades ago.

The villagers of Saru, commonly known as Tavakubu, in Lautoka started work on the structure about three weeks ago.

Villager Peniasi Vatu said his great grandfather lived in the bure and the structure got damaged over time.

"In 1999, we decided to build a bure at the same site but it was damaged by a cyclone and we rebuilt it. But it got damaged in another cyclone and it was left like that for years," Mr Vatu said.

"Now, we have decided to build a concrete structure on the same site and it will be our vanua house, where we can meet government officials and others.

"The construction of the concrete structure will cost us more than $70,000 and we have started work from money set aside from what we get for leasing our land."

Mr Vatu said the landowning unit had not carried out any fundraising drive yet to collect money for the project.

He said whatever the villagers were spending to start construction works was from what they had saved from their lease money.

"The villagers are carrying out the construction work and we haven't set any time frame for the project to complete. It just depends on funding," he said.

Saimoni Naivalu, who is supervising the construction, said the concrete structure would measure 46 feet by 35 feet.

He said construction was progressing smoothly.

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