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Settlement lights up

Serafina Silaitoga
Sunday, January 28, 2018

SINCE the girmit era, families of a settlement in Macuata have been without an electricity supply and lanterns were the only source of light.

But on Friday night, the 19 families who are descendants of the girmitiya wore smiles on their faces as Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya commissioned their electrification project.

The $94,313 fully government-funded project was launched at Boca settlement at Wainikoro, Nadogo.

Mr Koya told the residents that their electricity billing system was a prepaid one.

"You don't have to worry paying bills as payments can be done through respective M-Paisa accounts. This project is part of the Rural Electrification Program and the Fijian Government is funding it throughout the country."

He told the families that such project proved the Fijian Government's commitment towards improving livelihoods of every Fijian.

Resident, Kamal Reddy described the project as a sigh of relief for many families.

"I was born in the 1960s and since then, our houses have always been in darkness and our fathers used to tell us how they struggled with electricity," he said.

"We had to study using candles or kerosene lights and that was normal for us. We accepted it and our children lived that life as well.

"But now we have our electricity supply and they can study for longer hours."

Another resident, Nalvindra Pratap said residents could now pump water from their tanks to pipes, using electricity.

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