FIJI, Marou, Malevu and Somosomo Villages, Naviti Island, Yasawa Islands - January 2006
Construction of a Chiefly House (Vale Ni Vanua) in exchange for the establishment of a 9,884 acre no-take marine reserve
The villages of Marou, Malevu and Somosomo on Naviti Island are led by a single chief, known as the Tui Marou. The Tui Marou is the traditional owner of the villages’ fishing grounds. The three villages are willing to preserve 9,884 acres of their fishing grounds for 20 years. In exchange for this sacrifice, they are requesting funding to construct a much-needed Chiefly House (Vale Ni Vanua). This house functions as a community center where the chief can hold meetings with chiefs from other islands as well as host visitors. *
UPDATE June 2009 - As of April 2009 field representatives Jackie and Harry Powell worked with village leaders to coordinate a re-design of the plans to fit the limited budget. Senior Program Officer Karen Peterson will be visiting this project in June 2009.
UPDATE December 2009 - As of December 2009 the Powells report that overall progress on the building has been satisfactory. The plumber who is also experienced in roof construction, has been checking to ensure there are no leaks. On completion of his inspections and any rectification work, he will then install the guttering and down pipes. There is a lot more plumbing work to be done for the kitchen sink, toilet and shower and the septic tank and soak pit. The plumber however is confident work will be completed on the above by the end of the month. Marou does not have a carpenter with the expertise to assemble doors, so the village is in the process of getting quotations for timber and a joiner to make the doors. The electricians have completed installing all the wiring and will return to install light fittings and switch boards once the ceiling is in place. The building is scheduled to open in March 2010.
UPDATE February 2010 - As of February 2010 Harry repots that the plastering work has been completed and the doors are currently being constructed in Lautoka. The tiling and finishing work will probably require at least another month to be completed.
UPDATE May 2010 - As of May 2010 Harry and Jackie report that although construction was not as far along as they had hoped, since their last visit the walls and half the floor have been plastered, the tongue and groove ceiling is almost completed, and the doors have been hung. Some of the window apertures were not quite the size of the preassembled window framing so the carpenter will have to chip and in some cases fill the gaps before windows can be fitted.
UPDATE September 2010 - As of September 2010 field representatives Harry & Jackie Powell report that all of the windows have been fitted and the carpenter is presently concentrating on the finishing touches inside the Chiefly House. Tiling is scheduled to begin next week. The village contact mentioned that there was slight damage to the roof during the Cyclone, but as yet he has not provided details except to say that the carpenter will be assessing what may be required for repairs. Seacology will likely be visiting Fiji during January of 2011 and hopefully an official opening will be celebrated at this time.
UPDATE June 2011 - According to the village representative, plastering work has been completed and all the windows have been installed. Work still needs to be done to the main front and back doors and finishing work.