Letters to the Editor – August 13

2018 Kaila! Star Search winner Marika Bosekoviti. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Kaila! stars rock
Hearty congratulations to the 2018 Kaila! Star Search competition champion Marika Bosekoviti. Our star not only walked away $1000 richer but also won hearts and fame for his beautiful performance. Bosekoviti attributed his win to sheer hard work and the fact that he believed in himself. His efforts, passion and commitment should be an inspiration to those who are willing to take part in the 2019 competition. I believe that this year’s performers did their best and competition was stiff compared with the previous years, hence the competition is getting bigger and better as years pass by. The Kaila! Star Search competition has unveiled stars and shown their potential in the field of music and I echo the sentiments of The Fiji Times editor Fred Wesley that an event such as the Kaila! Star Search competition is like a window of opportunity for nurturing our young performers and artists but for the competition to be a success it needed the support of sponsors. I am positive that come 2019 The Fiji Times group will be able to secure the financial support of some good hearted sponsors. Until then a big vinaka vakalevu to The Fiji Times for supporting this year’s Kaila! Star Search competition and congratulations to Maraya and Senitiki for finishing first and second runners-up respectively! Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam, Nadawa, Nasinu

Mother of all festivals

The mother of all festivals being held at Valelevu will bring certain chaos in Valelevu, especially on the road. I believe they need to have some roads around the grounds to be “one way” to ease traffic commotion during the festival. There are a lot of roads linking with Valelevu, such as Khalsa Rd from Kinoya and Tamavua, Nasinu Rd from the Nausori and Pilling Rd from Laqere. This would be a real test for the Nasinu municipal to getting the traffic movement organised for this occasion and hopefully keep it under control. And for people around the Nasinu area, to ease traffic why don’t we walk to the festival, it could keep you warm during these cold nights? But whatever the organisers have planned, I hope it will be successful. Tomasi Boginiso, Nepani, Nasinu

Road accidents
I believe the Nabou road accident will go down as one of the worst highway traffic fatalities happening in Fiji. Eight are now confirmed dead, as another victim on life support since the horrific accident last week left us on Saturday. Hard believing the rate of vehicular manslaughter on our roads every year. I don’t think drivers are paying any attention to the safety advisories and cautious driving when out on our roads. Several writers give valuable tips and suggestions which I think should be taken on board if they make our roads safer. More policing and police stations along the highways is something we can start with. Police visibility changes the mentality and attitude of people naturally. So I believe police presence is the game changer here. Booking is not slowing the speed so let’s start doing something that helps. Please start taking smarter action that not only gives us money but saves the lives of people at the same time. OMG! Suresh Chand, Nadi

Thank you
What else can we say but thank you Yavusania Village for giving a piece of your land to be the resting place of the three Nabou accident victims. Not only that but to feed the hundreds of mourners and relatives is a huge task worth mentioning. To be honoured away from their roots and relatives, we as a nation have nothing more to say but thank you very much to the vanua of Nadi for your generosity. These three young boys still have so much to offer but you offered them so much more. Hope everyone will find peace after the three young souls being laid to have their rest. Rest well gentlemen and moce mada. Isa! Pita Soroaqali, Nadarivatu

Foreign canecutters

WHO would have thought that one day we will be importing canecutters to meet the shortage of local labour! But that phenomenon is inevitable. It’s called labour mobility. I believe our girmitiya will be smiling in their graves knowing that history is repeating itself. It was almost 140 years ago when the indentured labourers were brought from India to work in the sugar cane plantation. I wonder from which country these foreign workers will be recruited. But let’s hope they will not be housed in coolie lines like our ancestors. If the minimum wage is increased then consumers will pay more for goods. But if the sugar canecutters demand for increase in rate then the farmers are not able to recoup the cost. I suggest that the funding earmarked for purchasing 300 trucks should be diverted towards the sustenance of these seasonal workers with the farmers and the miller co-sharing the cost of harvesting. That will be a huge relief to the farmers in hilly and remote locations where mechanical harvesters cannot be used. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

Patel explains EFL’s position
I am writing on behalf of the more than 700 men and women employed by Energy Fiji Ltd, and our tens of thousands of Fijian shareholders, in response to the slate of misleading coverage from The Fiji Times in relation to the raising of the Wainisavulevu weir to increase the capacity of Fiji’s largest and most productive renewable energy system, the Monasavu Hydroelectric Scheme. We’ve corrected the record on the height of the weir that was raised back in 2015. That distance was eight metres. But that is not at the heart of our issue with your newspaper’s coverage, where you have demonstrated a deliberate and dangerous willingness to undermine public confidence in EFL’s important effort to move Fiji away from dirty, polluting diesel fuel and towards clean and renewable sources of energy. In this spirit of open and honest communication, we ask that The Fiji Times do away with the unfounded sensationalist coverage, especially when it comes to the protection of Fiji’s natural environment and the health of the Fijian economy. The fact of the matter is that the burning of fossil fuels is the single greatest contributing factor to global warming and climate change, and investment in renewable energy is our greatest tool in averting climate catastrophe for Fiji, and all of planet Earth. This includes green infrastructure investments that tap Fiji’s geographic advantages through solar energy, biomass energy, and especially hydropower generation.
Over the past 10 years alone, hydropower generation in Fiji has generated 4.67 billion Units of Electricity. That has avoided the use of nearly 1.154 billion litres of diesel fuel, meaning our work has offset more than 3 million metric tonnes of carbon emissions since 2008. Those are some big numbers, so to put that into perspective, that same amount of diesel fuel could fill the tanks of around 15 million Ford Ranger trucks. That is the total environmental cost that hydropower generation in Fiji has already avoided over the past decade, and our achievement so far has put Fiji on the path to generate 99 per cent of our energy from renewable sources by 2030. At EFL, powering Fijian lives and livelihoods is our core mission. As a responsible part of our energy mix, hydropower has given the Fijian people access to the most affordable electricity in all of the Pacific. Hydroelectricity in Fiji powers homes, hospitals, businesses, schools and entire communities, bringing life-changing benefits to Fijians in every corner of the country at rates Fijians and Fijian businesses can afford. These aren’t my personal opinions; the immense benefits of hydropower are a globally-recognised reality. In 2016, global hydropower generation marked the largest contribution from a renewable energy source ever recorded. Highly developed nations such as Canada and New Zealand produce more than half of their nation’s electricity from hydropower. In Norway, electricity generated from hydropower alone makes up 95 per cent of national energy production. In developing these critical projects, there are calculated short-term costs that none of us are happy must be made. In the case of the raising of the Wainisavulevu weir, the landowners were fully compensated for the use of their land and resources as per a private commercial arrangement with EFL. The creation of a reservoir was necessary to hold the stores of water that will be used to create affordable electricity to power the nation. These changes were planned, they were necessary, and they were accepted by EFL, independent agencies, and the landowners as a small cost that was greatly outweighed by the economic and environmental benefits. Because we all recognised, then and now, that continued reliance on diesel fuel, as opposed to renewable energy, will bring about the destruction of the natural environment on a global scale. So yes, EFL will build more dams, and yes, we will produce a higher share of our electricity with clean hydropower. Through hydro, we will continue to eliminate Fiji’s reliance on dirty, environmentally-harmful diesel fuel. Through hydro, we will continue to ensure that the price of electricity is kept as affordable as possible for Fijian families. Through hydro, Fiji’s affordable energy will continue to fuel our nation’s economic activity, and attract job-creating development from overseas. Through hydro, and other renewable energy sources, we will secure an energy-independent future for Fiji. Hasmukh Patel, CEO Energy Fiji Ltd.
* The issue has never been about the Monasavu scheme or the Wainisavulevu weir. It is about the environmental cost of raising of the weir in 2015, compared to the economic benefits, and EFL’s failure to go through a national environmental consultation process with the weir raising — Editor.

EFL stand

The EFL CEO stated that they did everything within the confirmed guidelines (FT/12/8/18). I believe technical expertise state otherwise. Dan Urai,

Foreign labourers
Bringing foreign labourers to harvest sugar cane as revealed to us by this newspaper (FT 11/8) will only exacerbate unemployment already high in the country. Sugarcane harvest is usually an “easy way” to raise funds for clubs, villages and rural people without educational qualifications. But now, I believe it looks remote. Someone help! Amenatave Yaconisau, Palm Drive, Delainavesi.

Clots of fat
The other day after dinner I kept the leftovers in one plate. The next morning I saw clots of fat in the same plate. Of course I had lamb chops the previous night. Then I decided to put the same plate outside in the ground for hours at a temperature of more than 25 degrees at least. The fats melted and it did not clot at that temperature. Then I thought if fats do not clot at 25 degrees then there should no issue inside my body as it works at 37 degrees. Maybe an expert is needed here to explain the whole process of blockages please. Otherwise I will consider myself a scientist.
Ashis Kumar, Ba.

Allen and Wise

I wish Allen Lockington and Wise could be recruited into the FICAC team. Sukha Singh, Labasa.

One job
I believe the A-G is not the right man to advise a students’ association president to maintain only one job. Dan Urai, Lautoka.

Money collection
A friend of mine is in Lomaloma Village in Vanuabalavu. He noticed people standing around at the post office and asked what they were doing.
He was told they were there to collect money sent from Viti Levu by relatives. But the money had run out. Perhaps the authorities concerned could do something quickly because the people need money. He was told this happens often. Allen Lockington, Kava Place, Waiyavi, Lautoka.

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