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Fiji's Lau province in 19 days: A day in the life of Lomaloma

Women from Lomaloma tikina prepare lunch for government delegates. Image: Sophie Ralulu/IB

Pacific Media Centre

17 April, 2015

More stories at Islands Business

Freelance photojournalist Sophie Ralulu is representing Islands Business on a 19-day tour by boat of Fiji’s eastern Lau Province. The tour also serves as a familiarisation visit for the highest government official in charge of Lau and other maritime provinces in the eastern division, Commissioner Luke Moroivalu. Here is one of Ralulu’s diary entries of the tour.


Day 3: Wednesday, 15 April 2015.
Lomaloma Village (and tikina), Vanuabalavu Island.

DIARY: The day started with a talanoa session at 10am at the chiefly village of Lomaloma by visiting Commissioner Eastern Luke Moroivalu and his team of government officials with the people of Lomaloma tikina (district). Each representative of government ministries and departments were invited to explain the type of services they offer.

Water was raised as a critical issue. Commissioner Moroivalu stressed a goal of the Fijian government is providing clean and reliable water, and this includes people living in rural areas.

Education was also discussed. Parents were urged to prioritise the education of their children, to make use of government policy of upgrading primary and secondary schools in regions outside cities and towns.

Ministry of Education officials confirmed that the ministry would be donating water tanks for each of the primary schools as well as the island’s sole secondary school. Each tank costs F$80,000.

Four villages of Sawana, Dakuilomaloma, Namalata and Susui wanted water tanks for each family as a way to improve access to clean water. Commissioner Moroivalu said his office would look into the request.

Other issues were upgrades of roads and the island’s airport, solar power repairs, poor road drainage and the need for more than one company to receive government shipping franchise to service the island.

Commissioner Moroivalu promised to look into all these matters, but warned that it would take time to sort them all out.

Free milk
Following another delicious lunch spread prepared by the women of Lomaloma district, the government entourage moved to Lomaloma Primary School where Commissioner Moroivalu distributed milk and cereal to year one students in all of the six primary schools on Vanuabalavu.

Year one students from Lomaloma Primary, Susui Primary, Mualevu Primary, Mavana Primary, Avea Primary and Daliconi Primary had traveled to Lomaloma to benefit from the Fijian Government’s new policy of free milk distribution.

Commissioner Moroivalu explained the free milk policy was launched for three main reasons:

1. Every child needs healthy food in order to do well in school

2. Children need good education in order to make Fiji a better country to live in

3. Good education will produce good leaders for our country

Sophie Ralulu's diary item republished with permission from the Islands Business.

Sawana Village headman Nala Fotofili stresses a point during the talanoa session at the Lomaloma Village Hall. Image: Sophie Ralulu/IB


Year One students of Adi Maopa Primary School enjoy their cereal meal. Image: Sophie Ralulu/IB



Adi Moapi Primary School

I will be traveling to Venua Belau in June 2016.

I intend to bring a gift of shoes for the children of Adi Moapi Primary School

When I was there last year, I was told that shoes for the children would be a welcome gift.

I am trying to discover how many children attend the school so that I know how many pairs to bring.

Also the shoes come in only two sizes (as they are adjustable) ...small up to age 10 and
size large for children 10 - 14.

I am presuming that the small shoes would be best as primary school only goes up to age 11.
Is this correct?

Please let me know if you know how to contact the school directly so I may bring the right gift.

Best, June Lewis-Osborne

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