February 14, 2013

Kaunisela: boundaries priority

February 14, 2013 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: newsroom
By Maika Bolatiki

The demarcation of village boundaries is now a priority to the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs, says it’s Permanent Secretary Savenaca Kaunisela.

Mr Kaunisela said this project would stop village disputes, especially on the land where the village was located.

He said the ministry had investigated cases where the landowning unit had used it’s the power as landowners to stop village developments.

He said a team from the ministry had been working on this project and the target was to get 200 villages on board this year.

“The response is very good and the team has been able to complete work on 200 plus villages last year,” Mr Kaunisela said.

He said the team had to sit with the members of the village to decide on the new village boundaries and at the same time get the consent of the landowning units.

Once this was done, the new boundary was established and with the consent of all landowning units, the new boundary will be registered as a common land.

Mr Kaunisela said this was not a new concept as it was always there but had to be revisited and be done in such a way that it would remain forever.

So far they had completed work in Cakaudrove, Bua and Macuata.

“We have a total of 1170 villages and at the rate of 200 villages a year we should be done by 2014.”

Mr Kaunisela said the demarcation and registering of villages would help in the development carried out by the Government in rural areas.

When asked about settlements near villages, Mr Kaunisela said they are all part of the village and all village commitments should also be theirs.

Mr Kaunisela said it was now presumed that whoever resettled outside the village lived independently.

“This not so as he or she is on a piece of land that is communally owned.”

As part of the village boundary project, villagers were also reminded of climate change.

Mr Kaunisela said for those villages near the seashore or rivers they had to decide on whether they needed to be resettled to a totally new site.

“There are some villages that have agreed to be resettled to a totally new site because of the impact of climate change.”

The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs firmly believes that once this project is completed, life in villages will improve.

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