14.01.2005 -

femTALK from the Field

Women residing at the ALTA Resettlement Area in Vakabalea, Navua, in Fiji continue to rebuild their lives, not only as re-settled communities, many having moved to Navua district as a result of the non renewal of land leases at their family farms, but also as a result of the flash floods of April 2004.

More than 7 months since the floods, they continue to rebuild their homes and plantations.


Speaking to femLINKpacific, in a femTALK pre broadcast consultation (13 January) several of the women, mothers and grandmothers initially from Labasa, Lagalaga, Kilikoso, Nadi, Lautoka, Sigatoka, and Nausori shared their experiences in dealing with the devastating floods, which destroyed homes, plantations and livestock.


Many of them had just begun rebuilding their family's lives: "When we came up here we found the place covered with paragrass; we (our families) received a resettlement grant of $10000 but that was not enough, especially when we had to rebuild after the flood. Since the flood we had plenty disease and insects which damaged our crops; we received some (initial) help from community and religious groups and the private sector such as groceries, soon after the floods, as well as from the Ministry of Agriculture. But there is still a need."


During a "women's talk" session with members of Women's Information Network (WIN-Net) including President Dharma Chandra, the women also asked for assistance to raise their concerns with appropriate authorities about the increased mosquito problem, as well as the need to provide young males with new skills to enable them to contribute in a positive way to their community.


These and other issues of concern, and the women's story of their e-chutney and pilot telecentre project will be highlighted by the women themselves when they take to the airwaves on Friday 14 January Fiji time from 10am to 2pm with femLINKpacific for the first mobile suitcase radio broadcast" to be staged outside of Suva (Friday 14 January 2005.), a women's community media initiative support by the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) of UNESCO.


Next week the femTALK 89.2FM team heads west for a second trial broadcast in Lautoka on Saturday 22 January in conjunction with Rural Integrated Enterprises 'N' Development (FRIEND) Office at 8 Mana Street, Lautoka.

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