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Fiji Time: 3:32 PM on Wednesday 17 September

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The long wait is finally over

Ana Madigibuli
Wednesday, July 09, 2014

AFTER years of wading through chilly and muddy water to get to various towns and cities, villagers and schoolchildren of Nasau now have access to a $1million newly-constructed bridge.

Paula Radeau, 83, the oldest in the village, said he had waited more than 60 years to see the new bridge constructed.

Mr Radeau said he had waited to see a new bridge constructed that would save villagers from crossing the rugged river situated close to the village.

He said God had kept him alive all this time to be able to see the new bridge the people of Nasau had waited and cried for for many years.

He said he now had problems walking because of pain in his legs, which he claimed was caused by the cold water that he waded through when crossing the river over the years.

Mr Radeau said he could now end his journey in this world knowing he had finally seen people of Nasau crossing the bridge.

Prime Minister Rear Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama said the new bridge would link the people of Nasau to the Kings highway and beyond.

He said more than 200 people from Nasau could cross the bridge without wading through water again like in the past. "When I was told that children had to wade through the river to get to school, I was determined to get this crossing replaced as a matter of urgency," Rear Admiral (Ret) Bainimarama said.

"45 primary school students and 15 pre-schoolers had to cross the river every day to reach the school and whenever there was heavy rain and flooding, crossing was impossible."

He said people should not allow their children's lives to be put at risk in such a manner.

"This crossing has been constructed with a cost of $1million and it is money well spent on the people of Nasau."

Nasau villager Saimoni Drugu, who is a farmer, said he now did not have to carry his bananas across the river to be able to sell it at the market.