Squatters top talks list

THE formalising of informal settlements in peri-urban areas and sanitation improvement topped the list of grievances raised by residents of Newtown in Nasinu during the National Development Plan consultations on Friday.

According to the residents, the consultation was an important one since they were given the chance to raise their issues and opinions on certain matters they wanted to highlight.

Resident, Loraine Tevi said the Government should look into formalising informal settlements.

She said informal settlements contributed to the high rate of unemployment in the country.

“One of the main issues faced in these areas is that when we have informal settlements we are contributing to the high rate of unemployment which increases the crime rate,” she said.

Ms Tevi also requested the Ministry of Health to include more programs to assist in the prevention of non-communicable diseases for the next five to 20 years.

Another resident, Semi Drau said the Government should focus more on creating more employment opportunities for youths in Fiji.

“There are a lot of unemployed youths in this area and we are suggesting for Government to provide more employment opportunities,” Mr Drau said.

Highlights of the day were the safety and security of the community in relation to recent rape cases, teenage pregnancy and the need to improve road conditions in the area.

Strategic Planning officer Sandeep Kumar said he was overwhelmed with the response from the community.

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