Settlers highlight challenges during workshop

Naisogowaluvu settlement headman Osea Waqavakacegu shows the steps from the street where they catch transport to town. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

The daily challenges faced by more than 360 people of Naisogowaluvu and Nawaigasa settlements — road access, water supply issues and flooding — were highlighted during a workshop conducted by Fiji Council of Social Services this week.

The issues faced by residents of the two settlements, located about 3km from Suva City, were relayed by Lami District Council of Social Services co-ordinator Aminai Tagacake.

“The settlements’ only access is via a 200 step concrete walkway that is steep and slippery,” he said.

“About half a dozen homes get flooded every time there is heavy rain and homes in the upper reaches have water supply issues almost every day because of the increasing population.

“For Lami DCOSS, we are trying our best to assist the elderly with mobility and access to sanitation facilities but when it comes to road access and water supply, that is out of our hands.

“We can only highlight the issue and hope the authorities concerned will look into it.”

FCOSS director Vani Catanisiga told this newspaper Government’s connections with grassroots people and those most vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19, was “broken”. She said the most effective way to address the real life issues faced by the most vulnerable, especially those in informal settlements, was for Government to engage with civil society organisations such as FCOSS.

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