Vision for his village

Roma village headman Apisalome Uluinamoto with his baby is hopeful that one day the road will reach his village. Picture: SIKELI QOUNADOVU

WHEN Apisalome Uluinamoto was appointed by his village elders to take up the post of village headman, he knew this came with a lot of responsibilities.

There were no second thoughts as this was something he believed he was destined to become.

Mr Uluinamoto had a chance to further his education and secure a fine job in the urban centres but he chose to return to his village because he knew this was where he was needed most.

He is the headman of Roma Village in the district of Nabobuco — nested deep in the highlands of Naitasiri.

Roma is the last village in Naitasiri and takes about two hours of walk before crossing over the boarder to the Ra Province.

This is one of the country’s most remote and isolated village which takes about a five hours bumpy ride up Naitasiri via the Monasavu road before getting off at Nasoqo Village.

From Nasoqo Village it takes about an hour to an hour and a half of trekking to get to the village, this involves crossing the Wainasoqo river five times before a steep 45 degrees climb with the village located about 100 metres from the banks of the river.

This is the everyday route for Mr Uluinamoto and his villagers when trying to get the best service.

Ever since becoming village headman two years ago, Mr Uluinamoto has frequented this route carrying the sick, escorting students, or trying to get to the provincial office or other government services in town.

“All I want is for my village to also be given the best service. That is why we need a road as the road to the village will ease the burden for us in the village.

“I will not give up going to the provincial office or to Suva and will keep on knocking on doors until someone hears us.

“Our women’s group wants to extend their canteen, we want to have our own kindergarten, we need good farm practices, we need a good strong evacuation centre and there is a lot more things we need.

“We are thankful for the institutions that have helped us so far, but we need more, and I as long as I remain as village headman, I will not give trying to provide the best for my village.”

Roma is home to 61 villagers of which 15 are schoolchildren all who are boarders at the Nabobuco District School in Naqelewai Village.

More Stories