Letters to the Editor | Sunday, May 21, 2023

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The dying vegetation at the Wainisavulevu weir in June 2018. Picture: SUPPLIED

Wainisavulevu story

Thank you Sikeli Qounadovu, you brought tears to my eyes when I read your article on Wainisavulevu. My husband, Murray Mackenzie, was on the board of the FEA (as it was then) and I went with him on visits to the Monasavu area and came to love it. I was aware that the project was seriously damaging the landscape and grieved for the forest and all that it contained that was being sacrificed. Later I took Boy Scouts to camp in the school buildings after the work on the project was completed, when the school and village houses were sadly abandoned, so that those city boys could experience the real depths of the beauty of Fiji, and wake to the reality of life in the highlands of a cold thick mist every morning! I became aware of the plans for the Wainisavulevu area development. It was my hope and prayer that this would never take place because I had been told that it would cause devastating environmental damage. I feel like going back to my kerosene lamp (I still have one) and candles, and abandoning my warm showers. We are making so many mistakes with our race to modernity and our desire to make life easy. We should cherish the simple village life and enjoy it. Tessa Mackenzie Suva

Girmit celebration

I wish to clarify two issues raised by Geoffrey Chand in his letter (FT 20/5). He again asked why people who could not be part of the celebration were chosen. As I have explained earlier, after initially confirming their availability some of them failed to turn up for the awards mostly because of their limited mobility. Furthermore, it would not have been fair to deprive them of the awards just because they cannot attend the celebration on account of their physical condition. As regards to his query why the business community was not approached for financial assistance I wish to inform him that letters seeking sponsorship were sent to a number of corporate organisations. I do not wish to reveal their identities but they included some of the names he mentioned. But sadly the response was very poor. As to his observation that the celebration was poorly organised I respect his judgment. However, we have received many positive feedbacks praising this year’s celebration as being one of the best they have ever attended. Due credit should go to all our partners and donors for their contribution towards making our event a great success. It is easy to criticise from outside without knowing the difficulties and the extent of the work involved in organising such events. I have also learnt from all the social work that I do that no matter how hard you try you will never be able to please everybody. But I take it all in my stride. Having said that, any assistance and support from Chand and other girmitiya descendants in organising future events would be most welcome. SELWA NANDAN Secretary, Fiji Girmit Council Lautoka

The Trinity

IN the Trinity doctrine of the Christian faith, three divine beings equate to a wholesome one. Yet under the roof of the three parties, even the birds are still trying to figure out their workable equation. AREKI DAWAI Suva

Congrats Rotuma

With the Great Council of Chiefs meeting happening next week, I’m sure many will be awaiting the results and contents of the meeting. Having heard about it all my life and never actually being able to witness this – it’s great that the Prime Minister gave the chance for us younger generations to see such an important part of our heritage and history unfold again. It will surely bring us young ones closer to our roots. Also, a big congratulations to the Rotuman community for being able to participate and be recognised. Your inclusion will bring forth more unity in our country as well. May this be a stepping stone for future endeavours and a better Fiji! Tailasa Bale Nararo Rd, Nailuva, Suva

Pledge on good governance

In keeping with its pledge of a transparent and accountable government can the new mob in power provide answers to the pertinent questions raised by Altauf Chand in his letter of 20/5 to The Fiji Times? The credibility of the Coalition Government’s pledge of good governance is on the line. No two ways about it. Rajend Naidu Sydney, Australia

Crime stats

It would be a good concept if the Fiji Police Force informs the public of the crime statistics according to the police station and post. In addition, if weekly statistics are published in the newspapers. Asish Vinay Prasad Park Rd, Raiwasa, Suva

For our women

ALLOW me to use this opportunity to sincerely thank the Ministry of Women in motivating the women artisans of the Central Division in the very recent expo providing them a platform to show their talents with their work of handicrafts. The expo was held at the Suva Civic Centre front carpark. Sincere thanks also go to the Fiji Arts Council. I pray this same opportunity and wonderful initiative, is one day, also extended to the women of my old hometown of Nadi. They also deserve similar inspiration to improve their artisan-ship skills in handicraft work. The Nadi Town Council Handicraft Centre is a wonderful venue for an expo for our womenfolk. Vina du va levu. Thank you very much. RONNIE CHANG MARTINTAR, NADI

For a government

FOR any government to run smoothly Its economy needs ability Its nation needs stability Its resources need utility Its citizens need equality For her deliverance of goods and services need equity For results to be fruity we need agility For which opposition and power need unity.PRAMEETA CHAND NAMADI HEIGHTS, SUVA

Seaweed for garden’s sake

Why are we not harvesting seaweed which gets washed-up on our shores every time there is a storm and every other time in between. It’s omnipresent. It’s in our face yet we choose to ignore it. Walk along the beach past the Suva sea wall and you can be ankle-deep in it. I fill a bag or two and when I take it home, I can hear my plants (pardon the hyper anthropomorphism) jumping for joy and in raptures at the thought of being embraced and caressed by glorious seaweed. My strawberries go googah and my passion fruit, well, are passionate. Here are some good reasons why we should be out on the shore with our bags and buckets collecting truckloads of it: Seaweed contains almost every micro-nutrient in a readily digestible form. It is full of carbohydrates which plants use as a building block. Seaweed has 60 trace minerals and ready-to-use nutrients including nitrogen, potassium, phosphate, calcium, boron, potash and magnesium. Alginate (a water-insoluble gel) is present in seaweed. It absorbs large volumes of water, thus increasing the moisture in the soil. Besides aiding soil nutrition, seaweed also stimulates soil bacteria while increasing soil structure, aeration, and moisture retention. Additional effects on plants are improved seed germination, increased nutritional value, more extensive root systems and a greater resistance to pests like nematodes. Regular dressings with seaweed promote healthy growth and increased yield in fruit and vegetables and longer lasting, richer-coloured flowers. Another major component in seaweed is the hormones, essential to plant health. Plant hormones control the speed of growth, initiate basic growth processes, stimulate root formation and help the plant when under stress. As well as all of this, fresh seaweed straight from the shore makes wonderful mulch. Like all mulches, fresh seaweed helps to keep soil moist thus reducing your need to water. This helps reduce weeds as seaweed does not contain weed seeds. Seaweed is also beneficial to animals but that’s for another day. Next time you bite into a seaweed-wrapped sushi roll, spare a thought for your plants. Julie Sutherland Tamavua, Suva

Violence in relationships

Often abusers create a financial situation that makes wife or partner leaving nearly impossible. Survivors sometimes want the abuse to end, not the relationship. A survivor may return to the abuser because that’s the person she the survivor fell in love with, and she believes his promises to change. But it’s not worth it for women to continue to live in a violent abusive relationship, because lives can be lost as we have read via the media not so long ago. According to FWCC’s Shamima Ali’s statement in your FT 25/11/21, four were killed in 2020, 10 in 2019, five in 2018, four in 2017, five in 2016, six in 2015 and four in 2014. A total of 39 women died. However, no confirmed figures yet for 2021 and 2022! Do you know that a study made in America found out that domestic violence reports are higher than the normal daily average on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, with New Year’s Day averaging 2.7 times more incidents of domestic violence than the normal daily average? Certain days when domestic violence is high? I wonder what would be Fiji’s case like and a good research topic to ponder on? As a Fijian man, aren’t you sick and tired of seeing the high rate of DV, rape that is happening in our country, almost every day as reported by our media? Are you going to do something about it or will you remain standing from the side of the fence witnessing a woman being bashed up or rape by a fellow man? Jioji M Cakacaka Carerras-Votualevu, Nadi

Facebook following

I READ this the other day and I thought – how true! ‘I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same principles. Therefore every day I walk down the street telling passers-by what I have eaten, how I feel, what I have done the night before, what I will do later and with whom. ‘I give them pictures of my family, my dog and of me gardening, taking things apart in the garage, watering the lawn, standing in front of landmarks, driving around town, having lunch, and doing what anybody and everybody does every day. ‘I also listen to their conversations, give them the “thumbs up” and tell them I like them. And it works just like Facebook! I already have four people following me: two police officers, a private investigator and a psychiatrist. ‘Suddenly I feel very stupid. Maybe I should join Facebook. There is safety in numbers.’ ARVIND MANI NADI

Truth and reconciliation

ON the margins of the outcome of the recent thanksgiving and National Reconciliation church service, a possible outcome would be the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, or something with a similar objective. It was proposed in the past, even  with briefings from experts from South Africa, around the time (2005/6) of the much-maligned Tolerance, Reconciliation and Unity Bill, but it was never really pursued as a possible option. I wonder if it is still an option now, given current events? The climate seems right for it, with closure much more possible. DWARD BLAKELOCK ADMIRAL CIRCLE, PACIFIC HARBOUR

Customer satisfaction

I FIND the initiative taken by HFC Bank to enter into an interchange agreement with BSP on use of ATM and EFTPOS machines a timely and valuable move. In terms of services offered by these electronic machines, your customers were now better placed. They have more options now. Given the fact that your bank’s machines are currently not available everywhere, this arrangement could not have come at a better time. Noticeably, your ATM has not been established in Nadi Town yet, while your EFT- POS machines are also not present in many commercial outlets throughout the country as of now. In terms of customer satisfaction, it is incumbent on the part of the service provider to keep addressing the needs and wants of your customers. Keeping up with the advancing technological environment is most important. That said, customers will have no reason to switch if your services are to an acceptable standard. As a customer, I can only hope that in time to come HFC Bank will move to establish the missing electronic devices as mentioned above to achieve even better heights in terms of customer retention and customer relationship if you like. I believe customer satisfaction is vital. SURESH CHAND NADI

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