Matuku island population decreases

Empty homes in Yaroi village, Matuku, Lau.Picture VILIMAINA NAQELEVUKI

THE population on Matuku Island in the Lau Group has decreased significantly from 7000 to more than 500, says assistant roko tui Lau Wiliame Gucake.

Mr Gucake highlighted this during a recent visit by a government delegation when concerns were raised by villagers at Yaroi, Matuku, on the thousands of people who had gone to live on Viti Levu.

Yaroi villager Alipate Mocevakaca said most of them had travelled to the main towns and cities.

“Our village is slowly losing its people every year. “Our population gets less and less and now there’s only few of us left here,” Mr Mocevakaca said.

He said villagers had moved and were not doing anything while living in urban centres.

“Most of them have drifted to urban centres and many of them have no jobs, yet they choose to stay in the main towns and cities,” he said.

He said many homes on the island were empty.

“Now the duties to be carried out in the village cannot be done fully because most of our own have moved. All we’re left with are empty houses,” he said.

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