Lack of accommodation forces officials to return

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Government quarters at Vunisea in Kadavu. Picture: MERI RADINIBARAVI

Government officials assigned to Kadavu have had to return to Viti Levu because of the lack of accommodation on the island, says Kadavu provincial administrator Joji Waqata.

Speaking to The Fiji Times, Mr Waqata said the Government accommodation they currently have at the Vunisea Government Station could not accommodate most of the officials, so they had to go back to the mainland.

“The thing is that those who have been posted to Kadavu to come and work are entitled to occupy government quarters, but we don’t have quarters available for them,” Mr Waqata said.

“There is a high number of incoming officials, and the quarters were initially established when the Vunisea Government Station was first started.”

Mr Waqata said increasing economic activities on the ground required more manpower, thus the need for more accommodation.

“When there is demand on the ground, that’s what I briefed minister (Deputy Prime Minister, and Trade Minister Manoa Kamikamica) the other day, because of the rising population, the rise in demand, and you can link that to Kadavu’s contribution to the national GDP, a lot of movement, a lot of activities, the demand for services too increases.

“When that increases, there’s also a need to increase manpower.

“We have to beef up manpower to accommodate the demand on the ground.

“But unfortunately, when we beef up manpower, these staff coming to Vunisea find no available quarters to stay in.”

At the moment, Mr Waqata said, the Kadavu quarters clerk has 28 applications for staff quarters on the waiting list.

“They are entitled to occupy one but we don’t have any for them,” he said.

“Some are already on the island but others have returned to Viti Levu.”

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