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Safety concerns

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

SOME children in Ra's Tokaimalo district leave home for school at 6.30am and return home at 7pm.

While this has been the norm for years, the parents of these young primary and secondary school children now worry about the safety of their children.

In an interview, Mataveikai Village headman Jovilisi Muloca said the bus company servicing the route provided a school bus at 3pm.

"However it reaches a certain village only and does not cater for the remaining four villages in the interior," he said.

"These kids leave home at 6.30am and they only get to see their parents again at 7pm.

"We have raised the issue a number of times at provincial council meetings but we are still waiting.

"These parents are always worried in the afternoons especially having to wait for their kids to return right at night from school."

The village headman said more than 40 children in the villages of Nayaulevu, Vunisea, Nabalabala,Vuniyaumunu and Raviravi go through this experience daily.

He added the safety of children who preferred to start walking instead of waiting for the bus was an issue of concern.

Mr Muloca said with the increasing incidence of rape and sexual assault, he hoped the matter would be attended to soon.

Land Transport Authority spokesman Iliesa Sokia encouraged these villagers to apply for a Rural Service Licence (RSL) as he said this would be the easiest way to address this issue for the safety of these young children.

He added that applications for buses to service the route would take up a lot of time and bus companies' owners would look at issues like the road conditions before they could allow for it.

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