Building Sustainable Communities Fiji

Sustainable Communities

Creating Sustainable Communities achievements

One of the major issues currently in the Yasawa Islands is their lack of sustainable vital resources. At times, they'll have plentiful water, food, power and the likes. But these resources are not managed in a sustainable manner and so, the villlages are often faced with a severe shortage of these basic necessities. One major issue is the lack of the basic necessity of life - a reliable, safe supply of drinking water. Rainfall is seasonal and the villages have inadequate storage. Consequences are poor sanitation and poor nutrition.

What are we doing to help?

We have actively been working with the villages, both supplying them with the means for sustainable methods, as well as educating them on conservation and improved systems. This includes improving access to sufficient fresh water through rainwater harvesting solutions, resource management education, environmental initiatives, sustainable agricultural practices and assisting in the set up of micro enterprises.

One of our primary goals is to secure a fresh water supply for all 27 villages in this region. Our goal is aligned to the World Health Organisation's Millenium Development goal of "All people having access to 5 litres of drinking water per person per day."

Interested in volunteering to help? Visit our Creating Sustainable Communities Volunteering section of our website.

What have we achieved so far?

Clean Drinking Water for Locals
The hard work of Volunteers and local community groups resulted in a total of 11 Yasawa villages receiving 28 new clean water drinking systems. Existing tanks were also repaired and improved, providing an additional 212,000 litres in capacity. We are now much closer to meeting the World Health Organisation’s Millennium Development goal of “all people having access to 5 litres of drinking water per person per day”.

Soil has recently been tested in 5 villages and a variety of vegetable plants have been trialed to help identify which crops are suitable for growing in an island environment. The clearing of land and planting of seedlings together with the building of greenhouses has been achieved with the help of 90 hours of volunteer time and 800 hours of Vinaka Fiji co-ordinator time. An agricultural workshop was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture to teach village residents about sustainable food harvesting.

Waste Management
Vinaka Fiji continues to work with local communities to minimise and collect waste. Coastlines of the remote Yasawas are suffering as a result of pollution, a clear indication of the seriousness of a global problem.

Agricultural Enhancements
Coconut trees and creeping plants have been planted. Once these trees are established they will assist in controlling river bank erosion at Kese Village. Viinaka Fiji worked with locals and schools to establish vegetable gardens. New crops were introduced and the Fijians were educated on how to best maintain them.

Erosion Prevention Planning

Marine Environmentalist Heather worked with Volunteers to construct a plan to limit erosion. Kese Village was being seriously affected by heavy rains fall and large parts of the river bank breaking away and impacting the village.

Naviti District school and Yasawa High school water harvesting is currently insufficient and the limited supply does not meet the demands of the children attending these schools. Vinaka Fiji facilitated the assessment by a Water Authority Fiji technician and approached Government for assistance. Following discussions, Government agreed to prioritise this project and have confirmed to fully fund a more efficient water harvesting system.

View our latest achievements, photos and news on our Facebook page:

Vinaka Fiji is very proud of the Malevu youth producing these stunning vegetable crops.

"300 planted 1000 to go!" Vinaka Fiji team establishing a Mangrove Nursery

Working to install much-needed water tanks

"The water tank project has been a big help to the village. Before we had 'private' tanks, but owners were not so good at sharing, better  with the community tanks. Vinaka Fiji has come and put in the two big tanks, we are now using them and all benefiting from them." 

Mr Sakaraia, Nacula Village Administrator