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63 villages set for relocation

Nasik Swami
Friday, June 03, 2016

GOVERNMENT has identified 63 villages in the country to be relocated post-Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston.

This was confirmed to Parliament by Natural Disaster Management Minister Inia Seruiratu after a question from Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) MP Anare Vadei on the number of villages relocated following the cyclone.

He said members of the 63 villages had also indicated their willingness to relocate.

"Out of the 63 villages, 36 have gone through what we call the initial process where they have consented and iTaukei Affairs has moved in to do the village boundary survey, which will lead to the demarcation and the swearing in by all the landowning units," Mr Seruiratu said.

The next process, he said, was for the ministry to identify the landowning unit, the unit had to give consent after which the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs could start the process.

"There are still 27 villages left to go through the process, it's work in process.

"We have an interagency committee that looks after the relocation and this committee is headed by iTaukei Affairs, simply because Fijian villages are demarcated and gazetted and they are the lead agency.

"The relocation of people is a global issue and that is why we had the World Humanitarian Summit last week in Turkey because there are a lot of movements and as a result, there needs to be relocation as well."

He said the relocation post-disaster was important so that rebuilding was not done under the same level of risks.

"Usually in relocation process, the approval has to be from the communities, they have to indicate that they are willing to relocate."

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