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$700k Fisheries Office opens in Rakiraki

 

Nov 13, 2018 04:07:37 PM

$700k Fisheries Office opens in Rakiraki The Ministry of Fisheries opened its newly renovated $700,000 Rakiraki office this morning.

Government had to rebuild the facility after it was badly damaged by Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

Acting Permanent Secretary for Fisheries, Naipote Katonitabua said that the commissioning of the newly rebuilt fisheries office will allow the ministry officials to provide better services and create a greater impact on customers.

 “On those fateful two days in mid-February 2016, TC Winston cut a path of havoc and destruction across Fiji out of which 40% of Fiji’s population was affected and the Government estimated the total cost of damages then, in the billions. The impact of TC Winston in the Province of Ra alone is something that is etched deeply in the hearts of the citizens of Fiji,” added Mr. Katonitabua.

“The Rakiraki Fisheries Office was not spared and the impact of severe TC Winston on the existing Rakiraki office infrastructure sustained close to 95% damages.”

 “In March 2016, the final estimated cost of damages sustained by the office stood at $250,000 and this included severe damages to the main office building infrastructure, office equipment and assets, the ice plant and cooling tower, as well as damages to the station’s vehicle.”

“Recovery efforts though slow, began soon after, with the initial efforts being the relocation of the operations of the Fisheries office and Officer in Charge Rakiraki to the Forestry Office closer to the town center in November of the same year.”

He said the Ministry was soon allocated $1.6million specifically towards Cyclone Rehabilitation for Ongoing Construction of Fisheries Institutional Buildings in the 2017-18 Budget, whereby 44% of this was allocated towards the complete rebuilding of the Rakiraki Fisheries Office.

“The commissioning of our newly rebuilt Rakiraki Fisheries Office is also a step towards realizing the broad vision for us as a country and that is “Transforming Fiji”. A step to transforming our services, through improving our infrastructure, for our fishermen, our communities, to the vanua and to the public to ensure that they are served better and as civil servants this is our calling-ensuring effective service delivery to the public.”

“The Ministry of Fisheries is committed to driving service delivery effectiveness; a service that allows us to contribute to the bigger picture outcome of the current Civil Service Reforms, creating a high performing civil service, implementing government priorities, and being responsive to and serving the public.”

“In ensuring the continuation of our services to our key customers and stakeholders, operations from the Forestry office continued for the next seven (7) months until the rebuilding works was finally completed. OIC Rakiraki relocated back to this newly rebuilt office building in November, 2017 and operations continued from here until today,” he added.

The newly rebuilt Rakiraki Fisheries Office was constructed by FORTECH Construction Limited, Building and Civil Contractors.

By Reginald Chandar

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