Natalei Eco-lodge receives timely boost

August 8, 2022 12:10 pm

[Photo Credit: UNDP Pacific]

The Natalei Eco-Lodge in Tailevu suffered significant loss and damage following Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016, and recovery has been challenging.

Manager Josefa Bau says operations were halted as the then eco-lodge committee faced a lot of financial constraints.

Bau took the challenge upon himself, and with the continuous assistance of the government and the United Nations Development Programme, he managed to revive the eco-lodge.

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“After Tropical Cyclone Winston, this place was severely damaged and the villagers find it very hard to revive it again. At that time, I was managing Takalana and I also do my business like dolphin watching since I’m from this village, the elders asked if I could run it for them. So I started the role as a Manager.”

The Rural and Maritime Development Ministry with the UNDP through their Governance for Resilience project render various assistance and completed the conference room worth over $52,000.

Bau thanked both the agencies for the timely assistance.

Acting Minister for Rural and Maritime Development, Jone Usamate says donor and development partners are key stakeholders in development in every country, especially for Small Island Developing States such as Fiji.

“So, as part of the approach to be able to prevent the risk that come out of climate challenges, we have to address resilience into our infrastructure. So the integration of resilience to everything that we do is at the heart of everything that happens in this Ministry and across the whole of the government.”

Usamate adds since 2021, a total of 30 community projects have been risk screened, which are either nearing completion or completed as of last month.