Fijian island embraces 4m trees project

By Peni Komaisavai in Dravuni, Kadavu

Planting of one hundred trees may sound microscopic in a project that aims to have four million trees planted by 2022, but at beautiful Dravuni today, the islanders have pledged to do their small bit to achieve the national goal.

On hand to thrust the first tree into the soil was a famous son of Dravuni, retired hotelier Radike Qereqeretabua, and his wife, Eta. The couple, parents of Lenora Qereqeretabua, a member of parliament of Fiji, were assisted by visiting minister of forestry Osea Naiqumu and his counterpart in the fisheries ministry, Commander Semi Koroilavesau.

The two cabinet ministers of the government of Frank Bainimarama are leading a team of officials including journalists from the capital, Suva on a tour of Kadavu province, in the country’s most southern borders.

Dravuni was their first stop, and they have six more villages to visit before they return to the capital at the weekend.

Children of Dravuni Village Primary School watched with keen interest as dignitaries dug up soil around the school compound to plant seedlings.

“We are aware of government’s plans in planting 4 million plants within the next four years and we want to do our part in the campaign against climate change,” said Iliesa Bula. He is the Development Officer for Dravuni.

“Climate change has impacted us in the sense that we are seeing lesser catches when we go fishing. So instead of making a living from the sea, many of us have been forced to find work in the tourism business.

Bula added that each man in Dravuni has pledged to plant 5 trees per day for the next four years, in light of the 4 millions tree campaign.