Melanesian community step towards securing a place to call home

Melanesian community step towards securing a place to call home

By Marika Rasekaseka
Saturday 21/10/2023
[Photo: Fiji Government]

Our Melanesian community are on a significant step towards securing a place they will call home and pave the way for a brighter future. Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Sakiusa Tubuna highlighted this during a consultation held at Matata Settlement in Lami.

This consultation follows the initial consultation in Wailoku last month and it marks a crucial milestone in the long-standing struggle for recognition and security.

The Assistant Minister says it is important for the Melanesian community to work closely with the current government to find a solution that will bring happiness to future generations.

Tubuna says there is a need to address shared challenges collectively, underlining the government's commitment towards a way forward.

Speaking on behalf of the Melanesian community, Retired Anglican Priest Jeke Abonio says the Matata settlement has been plagued by misinformation and unfulfilled promises.

Abonio highlighted the community's ability to coexist harmoniously with iTaukei families, illustrating the strength found in diversity through interfaith marriages and shared experiences.

He also recalled the broken promises that had plagued the community, particularly the assurance of formalized land, which would bring much-needed security and stability to their lives.

The Priest says they have lived with the fear of being uprooted for far too long and the move from the government is a glimmer of hope for them after waiting patiently and hoping that the promises made to them will finally be honoured.

He says residents also believe that this step will not only safeguard their homes but enhance the overall well-being of the entire settlement.

The retired Anglican Priest says stability, security, and the opportunity for a brighter future are on the horizon as genuine collaboration between the government and Melanesian communities paves the way for a more inclusive and prosperous Fiji.

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