Local News

Families moving back to villages

iTaukei families from urban areas are moving back to the village in a bid to escape the COVID-19 outbreak and to sustain themselves off the land. Alena Salome, a mother of six and grandmother of...

Back in History: Confusion over role of interns

On February 25, 1987, The Fiji Times published a report on the concerns raised by interns on how they would carry out their work at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital (CWMH) in Suva. The report stated 15 final-year medical degree students began their hospital internship that week amid mounting confusion, and some reservations, about what...

Cane labourers hope mill begins crushing soon

Cane labourers who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis are hoping the Lautoka sugar mill begins crushing soon. Manaini Rokovusei said her family moved from Naitasiri to Lautoka a few years ago because of the work opportunities provided during the cane harvest and crushing season. She said her husband loved cutting cane, but...

A murder and a song – Living life through music

One would not expect a song about the brutal murder of a young woman to become a hit. But the story of the tragic slaying of 20-year-old schoolteacher Evelyn Nair called Talanoa Ni Noqu Sota Kaya took the Senirauvula Group from obscurity to fame. The abduction and horrific events that led to the Niusawa Methodist...

Delay in crushing worries Waisale

The decision by Government to push back the start date for crushing at the Lautoka mill has not gone down well for labourers who have been hit hard by COVID-19 and were looking forward to earning an income from cutting cane. Peni Waisale, a labourer from Drasa, Lautoka, said he has been a canecutter for...

‘People are desperate’

People are sleeping in caves to be in close proximity to their farms, they are desperate and they need money to provide for their families. These were the sentiments expressed by Ba canefarmer Arvind Singh. He said he has spent the last two months trying to assist people in desperate need, but there was only...

Are you vaccinated

This has become the start of many conversations around Fiji whether catching up on a Zoom meeting, on Viber message groups and family catch-ups, or lining up in the marked out two metre spaces at supermarkets, coffee shops, doctors and mobile network outlets. And if the answer is yes, the conversation moves on to “So,...

Promoting change – The oceania and education amid the pandemic

Relationality and learning in Oceania: contextualising education for development is an important and timely publication. Important in that it offers an alternative approach that challenges conventional approaches to development aid projects; and timely because, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there is now a valuable window of opportunity for development aid agencies to rethink aid delivery mechanisms...

Act to help economic recovery

Fiji’s Investment Act 2020 is set to make approvals processes for foreign and domestic investment proposals more business friendly. According to the International Finance Corporation the reforms was spearheaded by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport (MCTTT) to streamline Fiji’s investment regulatory framework. It said Fiji’s Investment Act 2020 would increase the country’s...

Business expands its operations

Cyber Foods has now expanded their services into Lautoka City as this was also an opportunity to create more employment, says managing director Majid Shahzad. He said they had started their operations last week Wednesday and had three restaurants onboard so far. “We have another eight to seven restaurants who we are training at the...

Delivery service partners with restaurant

Fiji Eats has partnered with international restaurant chain McDonalds as their delivery agent in Nadi. According to director of Fiji Eats, Shanil Chandra, being able to meet their international standard requirements demonstrated Fiji Eats level of service. “McDonalds also has been the most requested restaurant so we are super excited to have an option for...

Chamber against total lockdown

A complete lockdown is not the solution to Fiji’s present COVID-19 outbreak, says Lautoka Chamber of Commerce and Industries president Pyara Singh. He explained that since the reopening of borders in the Western Division, business and people’s livelihoods have improved significantly. “With the opening of borders there has been improvement in the business sector,” he...

Audit report notes lack of planning for elderly needs

There was a lack of planning by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport “to take into account the needs of the elderly” before commencement of construction at the Golden Age Home in Lautoka, the Office of the Auditor-General stated in the 2019 Audit Report on Infrastructure Sector tabled in Parliament recently. The report stated an...

‘Staff not recruited as per budget allocation’

The Department of Meteorological Services did not recruit 23 staff members despite being given a budgetary allocation, the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) stated in the 2019 Audit Report on General Administration Sector tabled in Parliament recently. The OAG found the 23 positions or 19 per cent of the total established 120 positions in the...

OAG: Hydro project funds diverted

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport shelved a hydro turbine project in Bua, stopped a rural grid extension project and put on hold a solar home system project in 2019 and used funds allocated for these elsewhere. This, according to the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) in the 2019 Audit Report on Infrastructure Sector tabled...

Street dweller told to go back home

The Suva Magistrates Court has ordered a 21-year-old woman who has lived on the streets for eight years to return home to either of her parents. She appeared before magistrate Joseph Daurewa on a charge of failing to comply with curfew orders. She was found sitting at Ratu Sukuna Park on Tuesday night, drinking a...

COVID-19: REACH project buses aid in Fiji’s vaccination campaign

The Rights, Empowerment and Cohesion for Rural and Urban Fijians (REACH) project buses have enabled the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to conduct the mobile vaccination campaign swiftly and effectively in most communities. While acknowledging the assistance rendered by the REACH project, Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong said during these critical times,...

COVID-19: New Zealand sends second PPE consignment to Fiji

The New Zealand government is sending a second consignment of PPE to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services in order to help strengthen Fiji’s COVID-19 containment efforts. In a statement on their social media page, the New Zealand High Commission stated that NZ Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta had made this announcement with an...

COVID-19: New clusters in new locations pose serious risk

New clusters in new locations do pose a serious risk of wider transmission of COVID-19. Ministry of Health and Medical Services permanent secretary Dr James Fong noted this in his daily COVID-19 statement last night. Dr Fong said the ministry was prepared to mitigate the impact of a larger number of daily case totals and...

COVID-19: More than 9000 Fijians registered for domestic repatriation

More than 9000 Fijians have been registered as of June 15, 2021, by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport to return home. A Government statement said a total of 9067 Fijians had registered for domestic repatriation since the announcement on May 29, 2021. This includes 647 people from the Eastern Division, 4758 from...

Farmers have not harvested cane; adamant with demand

As of 9am today, only four FSC trucks, loaded with cane were parked outside the mill in Labasa. Cane farmers on Vanua Levu have remained adamant with their demand, expressed via a petition for Government to review this year’s forecast price of $54.36. In Seaqaqa, farmer and sardar Jagdish Sami said farmers had not harvested...

Dr Fong clarifies queries on second jab

People can get their second jab of COVID-19 vaccine eight weeks after their first jab, says Ministry of Health’s permanent secretary Dr James Fong. While clarifying queries from members of the public regarding a recent directive for people to receive their second jab within eight to 12 weeks after their first jab, Dr Fong said...

COVID-19: Emergency services at Nausori Health Centre closed today

Emergency services at the Nausori Health Centre will be closed today. The Government in a social media post said this was to allow the disinfecting team to decontaminate the health facility and prepare for the resumption of medical services. The Government has again reminded members of the public to stay home as much as possible....

3344 applications for program

The Ministry of Agriculture has received 3344 applications for the second phase of its “Cash for Cultivation” assistance program. Agriculture Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy said this was well over its target of 3000 households. “We have processed and approved 1805 applications and we’re looking to make the first payment of $75,” he said. Dr Reddy...

COVID-19: Southern Division records highest number of overnight arrests

The Southern Division recorded the highest number of breaches for curfew orders and health restrictions in the last 24-hours. Fiji’s Acting Commissioner of Police Rusiate Tudravu said of the 29 people who were arrested overnight, 15 were from the Southern Division. A/CP Tudravu said the Western Division recorded nine cases while the Eastern and the...

Tourists holidaying in Savusavu to visit Labasa

A busload of tourists are expected to arrive in Labasa tomorrow. These tourists, about 45, are holidaying in Savusavu under the Blue Lane initiative with the Copra Shed Marina. Copra Shed manager Dolly Singh said the trip to Labasa would include visits to different sites and tourists would spend an hour to do shopping in...

Dalo suckers for 1000 homes

More than 1000 households in lockdown areas and squatter settlements in the Central Division as well as Nadi were expected to receive 10 dalo suckers each from yesterday. Agriculture Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy said this assistance was part of efforts to support the livelihoods of families affected by the COVID-19 virus. “We are targeting 1892...

State to be blamed for crisis – Narube

Unity Fiji party leader Savenaca Narube says Fiji’s reputation to the rest of the world as a COVID-safe country has been shattered. The former Reserve Bank of Fiji governor said this would delay the long-awaited recovery in tourism and would prolong Fiji’s suffering. In a statement, Mr Narube said the favourite response from the Government,...

Resident braces for extended stay within lockdown area

Nawajikuma resident Rajnesh Krishna said they were preparing for an extended stay within the containment area as cases continued to increase each day. He said yesterday marked the 14th day the community was sealed off. “We got our second swab test done today (yesterday) and so far, we have not received any calls from government...

‘Virus impact varies’

Many people who get COVID-19 get a mild impact of the disease but this does not mean everyone will have the same experience, says Health Ministry head of health protection Dr Aalisha Sahukhan. “Over three million people have died worldwide because it’s so transmissible, it’s just got that balance right where it’s got that high...

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