A new plaground has arrived
Tony from Playco Playgrounds visited Naviti District School in April to view the progress of the playground that was donated earlier this year by Playco, UB Freight Ltd and Makara Model School.
Tony and his fellow Blue Lagoon Cruises passengers were excited to see that the playground was well underway and now thanks to our Vinaka Fiji volunteers and dedicated members of the local community the playground is finished and ready for children to play on.
As a special treat for the students, Tony also brought personal letters from Makara Model school students to start a pen-pal relationship between the Fiji and Auckland school. The Naviti students welcomed Tony and his fellow passengers by performing well-rehearsed songs, reading out some of their newly received letters and offering up plenty of high fives to everyone!
Raising Funds for a Water Source and Power Supply
Sustainable Communities Raising Funds for a Water Source and Power Supply We've set up a fundraising page to raise funds for our Water Source and Power Supply Project. The funding will be used to implement a water source program that will provide a water supply and power solution for seven villages in the Naviti District. There is a lack of safe water supply across the Yasawa Islands due to the limited rainfall and porosity of the rock. We've been able to identify a new water system that could turn traditional water sources into clean drinking water. The system can be used to change sources like boreholes, river water and rainwater. Click here if you would like to learn more or make a donation.
Crown-of-Thorns RemovalWe have been hard at work these past few months visiting new Crown-of-Thorns (COTS) outbreak sites, which have been recently identified. The team has been sent in to remove as many individuals as possible. On one of these expeditions, a new record was set - 148 Crown-of-Thorns removed in one dive! The total number of COTS removed from surrounding reefs is now well over 5000 individuals to date.
In an effort to minimize outbreaks in the future, Vinaka Volunteers have also been assisting with Barefoot Manta Island's giant clam nursery. Giant clams are thought to be one of the biggest predators of COTS as they have the ability to filter out the Crown-of-Thorns larvae while they are still drifting in the water column, before they settle on the reef. If COTS' natural predators can be restored to healthy numbers, we won't need to remove the spikey sea stars ourselves.
In the past three months, thousands of coral fragments have been rescued from the sediment and have been replanted; either back into the reef or onto one of the coral tables in Barefoot Manta's marine protected area. Nearly 2,000 square meters of coral reef have been rejuvenated by the planting of these coral pieces!
The four coral tables situated around the marine park are home to both hard and soft corals. Some of these corals on the tables will be used to replenish the Acropora that have been lost due to cyclones and large storms. Other corals tables are dedicated to growing corals that are less abundant on the reef in an effort to diversify the reef ecosystem. It's so important for us to continue to look after our coral and maintain the wonderful marine life for locals and tourists.
We are working in partnership with members of Pacific Climate Change Round Table to build sustainable projects. This involves sharing our Vinaka Fiji structure and developing Private Partnerships with Governments including the Fiji Government, UNDP, Live & Learn and the Australian Government.
One of the main projects we have been working on is Community Emergency Preparedness Projects to empower communities to be self-reliant after a disaster. We are setting up a Food Bank, which involves the building of a storage area in a traditional and modern way as well as setting up an Emergency Funds Bank Account.
We've started a school holiday program run by Vinaka Fiji Volunteers to give the children an opportunity to stay connected with learning activities and to enhance their education in a more relaxed and fun environment.
The children are having a fantastic learning experience as they sing at the start and end of the sessions, they are learning how to read and volunteers read books out loud too. This is just another way we are encouraging better education for the children.