His Excellency the President Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote urged the people of Rotuma to join the Fijian Government in its ambition to plant 4 million trees in 4 years and fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

“Last month I launched the Government initiative of planting 4 million trees in the next 4 years as we’ve pledged with the United Nations. This is part of the initiative to keep the planet green and in line with our commitment as a result of our Prime Minister’s premiership of COP23 in Bonn, Germany.”

“We’ve started planting trees in Suva, we’ve been to Lautoka, and we have started planting the day I arrived in Rotuma to commemorate the International Day for Tree planting. Before we go back, we are hoping to plant as many trees as possible”

Jioji Konusi Konrote“I also wear a number of hats in my capacity as the Head of State. I am the Champion or the Chief Advocate in the fight against NCDs. I’ve been going around the nation expressing my concern. Sadly Fiji is now a top rank country in the world for diabetes.”

“It’s not something to be proud of. Last month I opened a diabetes seminar in Suva. The statistics and data I was given frightens me. In every 6 seconds on planet earth someone dies of NCD related disease”

“My advice to you is to please look after your health. I’ve told the Hon. Prime Minister, I’ve told the church leaders that Government may come up with policies to improve infrastructure and our way of life but if we don’t look after our lives it will cost us a lot of money.”

“It is already costing us $406m annually to treat NCD related ailments.” His Excellency President Konrote also took time to visit the Fisheries office, Rotuma farm roads and the water pump on the island.