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Squatter settlements to be developed

Repeka Nasiko
Thursday, February 15, 2018

NINETEEN squatter settlements situated on native land will be converted into residential areas, says the iTaukei Land Trust Board.

TLTB general manager Tevita Kuruvakadua said the board was working closely with the Local Government Ministry to develop squatter settlements.

"We know that under Government's new housing policy, all stakeholders have to look at regularising squatter settlements," he said.

"This is a big issue because it affects a lot of individuals who have lived in informal settlements for a very long time.

"None of the previous governments or even the iTaukei Land Trust Board wanted to do this work because there are many other related issues associatted with it.

"These include the formalisation of leases and also we cannot issue leases on an ad hoc basis."

He said the process would take time.

"We have to issue them (lease) in a very structured manner, meaning after capital works and developments done.

"We need to ensure there is accessibility to water, electricity and other services like roads.

"A lot of squatter settlements do not have these facilities.

"So TLTB has been working with the Ministry of Local Government and we are very appreciative to the minister for coming forward to drive this program.

"TLTB will go to the landowning units of those 19 areas that have been identified to seek their consent so we can issue development leases, which will be given to the Ministry of Local Government who will carry out the relevant capital works.

"They will carry out scheme plans for each house to be built in these settlements.

"TLTB will then issue proper residential leases so Fijians can access to proper amenities and be comfortable."

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