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Bid to improve travel

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Wednesday, February 07, 2018

THE plea from villagers in Yasawa to have a regular shipping service to the islands will be taken up at this year's Ba Provincial Council meeting.

Nacula District representative Saimone Naivalu said islanders have had to suffer from the expensive freight costs for many years.

And while travelling on fibreglass boats maybe an option for the islanders, Mr Naivalu reiterated the need for a regular shipping service, which would meet the islanders' needs.

"There is no other option but to travel in the two boats that service the island regularly (Yasawa Flyer and SeaBus)," he said.

"The freight costs are expensive and these are just ordinary villagers travelling and at times we have had to bear the cost just so we can transport our goods to the island.

"But we will definitely take up the issue at the next provincial meeting so our plea can be heard."

The past two ships to service Yasawa more than a decade ago were MV Bawaqa and MV Cagi Mai Ba.

Mr Naivalu has also called on Government to look into their plight and provide at least a ship which could service the island.

A trip for a Yasawa villager on the Sea Bus costs $70 to Tavewa. Villagers then hire fibreglass boats to reach their homes and this costs another $70.

A trip from Denarau costs a villager $90 one way and villagers will have to fork out extra money to reach their villages on fibreglass boats.

Mr Naivalu said it was also much cheaper for them to consider having to travel to Lautoka on fibreglass boats because it was cheaper and they also would not have to pay extra charges.

A trip to Lautoka from Nacula on a fibreglass boat costs a villager $50.

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