LIFE A CHALLENGE ON FIJI’S REMOTE YADUA ISLAND

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Jan. 17) – Yadua Island in Buacan may be termed one of the wonders of Fiji for its beautiful scenery.

The adjoining island known as Yadua Taba is home to the famous crested iguana.

Yadua has many things to be thankful for, among them its serene beauty, which has been unspoilt for many years.

[PIR editor’s note: A research team from the University of the South Pacific and the Fiji Museum in 2004 found ancient Lapita pottery on Yadua Island. See report.]

There is only one village on the island, which lies off the northwest coast of Fiji’s Vanua Levu island and has a population of about 150 people.

The village boasts a nursing station, church and school, which is the pride of the village.

Farming on the island is the only way villagers can get food but water shortages and long dry spells can make life hard.

The assistant turaga ni koro, Pita Qarau, says it is a problem they have been trying to tackle but everything depends on faith.

"It's about hard work and determination and I guess that is the only thing that is keeping the villagers of Yadua going," said Pita.

The 42-year-old farmer has been trying to establish a pathway for farmers on the island so they can have food security.

"I have been holding meetings with youths and able-bodied men about farming methods."

At the moment, farmers have been engaged in root crop farming and because of the hilly terrain, it has been difficult to grow root crops well.

January 18, 2006

Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.

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