Villagers’ Block Access Road

  • 27th May 2003
  • 2003
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Two landowning units blocked the main entrance to Fenning Pacific (Fiji) limited and demanded $100,000 each in compensation for charges of land stealing.

Tokatoka Narogi and Mataqali Lawavolo of Culanuku and Galoa villages on the outskirts of Navua, erected roadblocks on Friday to stop access to the mill.

Villagers’ spokesman, Apakuki Saisai said they owned half the land and the access road that led to the mill.

He said that last month a group comprising of NLTB officers, Serua provincial council and Fenning Pacific (Fiji) limited met the landowning units’ representatives and told them that they did not own the land near the mill.

The villagers are agitated because the surveyors have surveyed the area and pegged the new boundaries. This is simply disrespect for the villagers, as they were not consulted.

The mill had been built on their land since 1987 and they had been receiving $42 a month as rental fee, which had been increased to $55 a few months ago.

Warning given to the mill had not been heeded, therefore the need to take further action.

Mr Saisai said they would not lift the roadblock until their demands were met.

Fenning Pacific (Fiji) Limited Director Mr Eng Hawa Ong refused to comment on the issue.