2022 General Election: 84-year-old pleads for proper landing facility
10 December, 2022, 3:00 pm
Lagi Village in Dogotuki, Macuata, needs a proper landing facility to help during the evacuation of sick people to the village health centre.
That was the plea made by 84-year-old Loata Tokea after she cast her vote during pre-polling voting at her village on Thursday.
Lagi’s health centre, which is staffed by a doctor and a nurse, is used by hundreds of villagers in the northern coast of Macuata, including the island of Cikobia.
“If a very sick person arrives at the village during low tide, they will have to be carried across on swampy mudflats.
“That always hurts me. We need the sick to be transferred here in dignity. Having a concrete landing would help.”
Ms Tokea claimed they had been asking Government to construct a proper landing area for many years.
On elections, Ms Tokea said she looked forward to seeing a government that would lead Fiji in the next four years.
“My interest lies in my family and my village. As long as my family and village are united and have good health, I am happy.”
At a time when non-communicable disease is rife in Fiji, Ms Tokea said Fijians in rural areas should continue the eating habits and lifestyles of their forefathers.
She said Fiji’s greatness and prosperity in the future depended on the youths of today.
“That should be our focus, teaching our young people the way, talking to them about values that build strong character so that they become great leaders.”
“The old people in villages should be telling stories to young people.
“At the same time, our youths need to ask the elderly for advice. The young and old need to be talking to each other all the time.”
Ms Tokea said during her younger days, there was a lot of emphasis on family, kinship ties and values of respect and kindness.
“In our days, when someone came home unexpectedly or visited the house next door, we had to make them feel welcome.
“If there was no food, we’d give water and fruits, anything to show we cared.
“These values have been replaced by new ones so our society is quickly changing. Moving forward, we need to re-focus,” she said.
Ms Tokea said leaders should not forget those in remote rural areas as if they didn’t exist.
“We are one big family and after elections, leaders should look after all of us, not just those who voted them in.”
Lagi has a population of 183, of whom 103 are registered voters.