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Villagers might be forced to look for land

October 31, 2017 6:15 pm

Villagers of Naviavia in Cakaudrove might be forced to look for land to farm on, when the Kiribati Government starts utilising the land it purchased in the area.

The purchased land, Natoavatu Estate is located beside Naviavia village.

Village Headman Marika Sede says the 5,400 acre land belonged to the Anglican Church Trust.

Sede says that they did not know anything about the purchasing of the land. It’s between the Anglican Church Trustees and the Kiribati Government. They were given 300 acres by the Church and the rest they have now sold it to Kiribati.

He says that they later heard that it has been purchased.

Villagers of Naviavia, are descendants of Solomon Islanders brought to Fiji during the Blackbirding era and they have been keepers of the Estate for years, even using part of it for farming and livestock grazing.

Kiribati comprises of 32 atolls and is just a few meters above the ocean. There are fears it may entirely disappear in the coming decades. It is not known if the people would eventually be relocated to the Estate.

FBC News attempted to get comments from the Anglican Church Trust, the Kiribati High Commission in Suva and the Commissioner Northern’s Office but no information was forthcoming.