The upgrading of the access road from Lagi Village in Udu, Macuata to Tawake Village in the district of Tawake in the Cakaudrove Province has begun.
Villagers had requested the road upgrade works during the Attorney General’s visit to Tawake Village in early July, this year.
And, in the 2022/2023 national budget, the government set aside $1 million for the upgrade of the existing 3.5 kilometre road.
And another $1 million is allocated for the pilot cut for a new access road of about 10.2 kilometres from Tawake to Wainiika Village.
Fiji Roads Authority CEO Kamal Prasad says their Team North have completed all discussion and ‘sevusevu’ with the Vanua of Tawake.
They are now awaiting the land-owning unit’s consent or written approval as there are freehold properties in between the proposed site for the new road alignment to Wainika.
Tawake District Representative, Nasoni Ritaimusu says the road from Lagi to Tawake Village was initially cut by government in 2010 but it is currently only accessible to 4WD vehicles.
Ritaimusu says they requested for an upgrade to allow for buses to service the area.
Tawake District Representative, Nasoni Ritaimusu
He told FBC News, says they are expecting the road works to finish by December so buses can operate before Christmas.
There are six villages in the district namely Tawake, Wainiika, Nagasauva, Vatu, Yasawa and Wainigadru and at present, the road and bus service only caters for one village – Wainigadru -and five settlements.
Ritaimusu says the other five villages travel by boat and operate out of Wainigadru.
“Premix in Tawake, right at the moment as we speak, is $20 per gallon. $20! So, it’s very expensive to them using four to ten gallons from Yasawa, Wainika, Vatu and right to Tawake to Wainigadru”.
It costs $60 to hire a boat from Wainigadru to Tawake Village, $130 to Wainika Village, $150 to Vatu Village, $200 to Nagasauva Village and $300 to Yasawa Village.
Upon completion of the Lagi to Tawake Road upgrade, FRA will begin the pilot cut for the new access road from Tawake to Wainika Village.
Ritaimusu adds, the land-owning unit has given consent for the road works and this has been submitted to the Fiji Roads Authority.