Settlement to receive a high level diplomat for the first time

Village headman shows the area where the events will take place during the ground breaking ceremony by the New Zealand PM Jacinta Arden at Tamavua-i-Wai village on Wednesday. Picture: RAMA

RESIDENTS of Tamavua-I-Wai settlement in Suva are looking forward to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden’s visit tomorrow.

Speaking to The Fiji Times yesterday, community spokesperson Maciu Turagavou said the event would mark the first time the settlement received a high level diplomat.

Ms Arden, who arrived last night for a four-day visit, will officiate at the ground breaking ceremony of 16 water and sanitation projects that come under the Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE) program.

“This is a historic moment for people here in Tamavua-I-Wai settlement,” Mr Turagavou said.

“People have been cleaning their houses and compound for the past few weeks and they are excited to get glimpse of the New Zealand Prime Minister.

“The youths of this settlement are very much looking forward to this visit and I hope that she will become a source of inspiration for the youth.

“We want to thank RISE for assisting us, 16 families will have new toilets and bathrooms. RISE is an action-research program working at the intersections of health, environment, and water and sanitation. The NGO is trialling a new water sensitive approach to water and sanitation management in 24 informal settlements across Makassar in Indonesia and Suva, Fiji.

RISE construction manager Marika Rasovo said the aim was to provide proper sanitation for families in the settlement.

“The 16 houses didn’t have proper toilets and bathrooms, so through this pilot project, we are going to help build a proper toilet and bathroom,” he said.

Ms Arden is scheduled to visit the RISE informal settlement project at Tamavua – I-Wai at 2pm on Wednesday.

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