A total of fifty houses and close to three hundred villagers of Verevere in Ra will now have safer access to move around in the village.

This follows the commissioning of a newly constructed foot-crossing bridge which is the sixteenth for the Hop-Skip & Jump project to be completed by the Ministry of Waterways today.

Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Hon. Dr. Mahendra Reddy while commissioning the foot-crossing bridge, reiterated the Fijian Government’s commitment towards providing a better and quality life for Fijians around the country.

Minister Reddy said the foot-crossing bridge was significant as it linked the communities to meeting their basic needs, improve living standards and become self-sufficient.

Minister Reddy added that the foot crossing bridge supports the growth and development of rural communities and further boosts agricultural activity as it helps to improve access to the market and helps sustain livelihoods.

“The provision of foot crossing links the communities. Such investments provide for much needed social cohesiveness, it links communities which are often demarcated by creeks, streams and harnesses the power of one community, rightly befitting in the rhetoric of one nation,” Minister Reddy said.

“Such improvements in infrastructure and provision of adequate public utilities allow for increased and better local economic activity.”

The Hop-Skip & Jump project was launched in late September 2019 and marks the government’s commitment towards the development of rural and maritime communities by bridging the development gap between rural and urban areas through the provision of the foot crossing to vulnerable communities.

A total of sixteen foot-crossing bridges has been completed which has benefited Fijians including women and children allowing access to farms, schools, towns and health services.

Meanwhile, the Turagani Koro for Verevere Village Mr. Sesoni Vilisi acknowledged government’s commitment to providing sustainable livelihood for rural communities.

He said the foot crossing bridge will not benefit elders only, but will also provide safer crossing for women and children during heavy rain as the creek gets flooded often.