Today, we remind ourselves that government cannot work alone in shining the light of our NCDs crises, nor can it educate the general public of how a healthy life style can lead to better health on its own. Government is just one of the many stakeholders that could help in educating the general public on how to address, reverse and eradicate Fiji’s NCD issues.
Under my leadership, we’ve brought the immeasurable benefits of clean drinking water to over 150,000 Fijians in rural communities. Because of that record, because of my Government’s leadership, tens of thousands of Fijians in rural pockets of Fiji now know that feeling of joy and security brought by seeing clean water run when they switch on the tap – that same feeling all of you know today.
Today we no longer have schools divided or identified along ethnicity. Today, you have Sabeto Central School instead of Sabeto Indian School. Today, you have proper classrooms as opposed to having classes under mango trees in makeshift sheds and bures. Today, you have a school that has Fijians from all backgrounds. Today, you have free childhood, primary and secondary education. Today, you have free textbooks. Today, you have subsidised transportation to school.
When villagers see the stream of pumped water coming out of a new tap for the first time, they will often break into tears of joy. I’ve experienced many elderly Fijians coming up to me and saying that in their lifetime, they never expected the day to come when they would have a safe and reliable water source.
The new nursing station will service three villages–– Vatukarasa, Nameka and Natuva in the Tikina of Tai Vugalei –– along with two primary schools and the Coloi Settlement. Soon, the Ministry of Health will also be providing a boat and engine that will allow the new station’s nurse to more easily visit villages to provide medical services and important health information to villagers and schoolchildren.