‘Restrictions’ not easy to uphold

VILLAGE leaders vying for the protection of their environment have struggled to deal with non-indigenous communities.

At the Macuata Provincial Council Yaubula workshop held in Labasa yesterday, village leaders shared their experiences.

Labasa district rep Isoa Baleirotuma said he had struggled with some communities in trying to make them observe restrictions put in place by village leaders.

“We respect these communities that live by our district boundary, but it’s not easy getting them to observe and uphold some restrictions we put in place,” he said.

“For example, a certain community didn’t respect the ban of a fish species in our qoliqoli and caught it and sold it in the market. The fish they caught were undersized and they sold it for a very cheap price. It’s not easy dealing with such communities that don’t have traditional protocols.”

Mr Baleirotuma asked that the provincial council, as the arm of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs look into this matter.

He added that this challenge was not a new issue.

“We have faced this mountain for a long time and even the chiefly leaders in this district have experienced it too,” Mr Baleirotuma said.

“It will be good to address this issue if we want to protect our environment.”

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