Editorial comment – Getting our bearings right

Villagers of Kilaka in Kubulau, Bua celebrate their recent road upgrade. Picture: SUPPLIED

MANY of us take a lot of things for granted.

For instance, we have proper roads, with potholes to bear with in some places, proper footpaths, bus services, cabs on the prowl for passengers, minivans and other modes of transport that take us from point A to B.

We have bridges that go over waterways, hospitals and schools that are accessible, supermarkets and entertainment venues to visit, and various shopping centres to choose from.

We have parks to take our children to, grounds to play on and watch various sporting events, and for those who can afford it and have the luxury of swimming pools nearby, they can take their kids there as well.

In a nutshell, we take a lot of things for granted.

Many of us get up most mornings, prepare for work or school, take a short walk to the roadside, stop a cab or bus, and away we go. Or we simply get into our vehicles and head to the office.

We are angered by any delay in the bus service. We get upset when cabbies decide not to patrol our street, which means we may be late for work or an engagement. We are upset when the pump man or girl at the service station is slow.

When it rains, we are frustrated by the fact that the bus stops well away from the bus shelter or from our doorstep.

Hopefully it will take a report like the one about the children of Kilaka in Kubulau, Bua to get us back to Earth.

Perhaps then, we may appreciate a lot of things that we take for granted.

These children can now travel to school from their village in carriers after the completion of roadworks in the area.

As our report on Page 4 today points out, Fiji Roads Authority, through its subcontractor Fulton Hogan Hiways (FHH), completed works on the Kilaka Rd upgrade.

Village headman Imanueli Pita said children could now go to school in vehicles.

Farmers, he added, could now transport their produce to Savusavu with ease.

The new road, he said, had effectively ended the need for long horse rides to the main road to access bus services. Children, he said, could now catch the carrier at the village front.

They don’t have to walk the long route to the main road any more.

“This is a burden lifted off our shoulders and it’s a big relief,” he said

A statement from FHH said Kilaka Rd was a “fast response job”.

Kilaka Village is 61 kilometres away from Savusavu, and Kilaka Rd joins the Wailevu West Coast Rd, which connects to the Trans Insular Rd on Vanua Levu.

A report that may not attract the attention of most people, actually means quite a lot for the people of Kilaka Village.

Acknowledgement certainly is in order for all those who have made this possible. Sometimes we need such reports to get a bearing on our lives.

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