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It's one sweet job

Serafina Silaitoga
Friday, March 09, 2018

BEING a young village headman can mean that life will sometimes be hectic but for Lorima Bulimaitoga, the task has not been too difficult to handle.

The support of his family and villagers, he said, had seen him through the rough days.

Appointed in 2015, Mr Bulimaitoga's duties have included the role of chairing development committees in the village.

"It's not an easy job especially being a young man and having to take the lead role when dealing with government projects in this village," he said.

"When visiting delegations come to the village or government officials for meetings or other purposes, I need to organise the function with the help of villagers.

"But having to take the lead role is not easy because there's a lot of work involved."

Having faced the impact of climate change in the form of rising sea level, Mr Bulimaitoga said this was an added task.

"Our village has been assisted by the American Government with international and local donors through which, four houses have been built on a hill," he said.

"So having to deal with such organisations is a privilege for me because I get to meet new people and diplomats as well.

"This part of my job is enjoyable because it exposes me to a higher level of my duties having to deal with expatriates and representatives of foreign governments."

He has continuously worked with non -governmental organisations in regards to climate change issues.

Mr Bulimaitoga has had to also work with villagers on this same issue but to do with traditional matters.

The idea of relocation because of climate change impacts has not gone down well with the villagers.

"It won't be easy to relocate the villagers even though we are experiencing the impacts of climate change," he said.

"We have our traditional obligation to our high chief, the Tui Cakau, and that is the protection of the Lalagavesi which sits here in Vunisavisavi.

"The Lalagavesi is the Tui Cakau's first dwelling here in Cakaudrove and we are obliged to protect it as it still carries valuable meaning for the people of Cakaudrove."

Apart from these challenges of having to deal with traditional issues and realistic impacts, Mr Bulimaitoga has had to deal with village laws as well.

"The village laws include respect for the vanua, the elders, no drinking of alcoholic beverages or getting rowdy in the village so I need to ensure that villagers abide," he said.

"I enjoy my job because of the various responsibilities that come with it. It's tough but with the support of the villagers, my job gets sweeter every day."

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