21 Fiji Families Residing In Settlements Receive 99-Year Leases

People living in informal settlements now can improve homes without fear of being evicted

By Mere Naleba

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, April 14, 2017) – Easter has become more meaningful for 21 families after Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama handed them 99-year leases for land they have called home.

Four of the 21 families reside at Velau Drive in Kinoya while the remainder at Naulu settlement in Nakasi.

Deo Chand and his wife Brijma Wati relocated to Suva from Labasa in 1999 and built their house at the settlement in Naulu, Nakasi.

With the issuance of the 99-year lease, Mr Chand said he was grateful to the Government.

"We couldn't do much with our houses because we felt that one day someone will come and tell us to dismantle our home and move out. But today it's so much different," he said yesterday.

Kinoya resident Alumeci Kaitu said she lived in Kinoya for the past 15 years and Easter could now be celebrated with ease because their future was secure.

"I'm the happiest woman on earth. My family doesn't have to worry about land issues now," she said.

While handing the residents the lease approval notices, Mr Bainimarama said for too long these people had been made to feel like outsiders in their own homes.

"For some of you, it's been nearly 40 years that you have lived here without any certainty of your status," he said.

"And for too long, you have struggled to secure permanent residence, but that all ends today."

Mr Bainimarama encouraged people to develop their houses and communities with confidence.

"You can use your land as collateral to access finance, create value and build wealth that spans generations," he said.

Fiji Times Online.
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