St Pauls Association of Anglican Women Food Security and Livelihood Project
Naviavia Village, Wailevu West, Cakaudrove, Fiji
1st June 2022
Parishioners of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Naviavia, participated in a 3-day workshop (1st – 3rd June 2022) to foster the community ‘s resilient capacity to climate change, impacts of pandemic and external conflicts. This activity is part of the St Paul’s AAW Food Security and Livelihood Project implemented by the House of Sarah and funded through the UNDP Gov4Res #Gov4Res Small Grants initiative.
Naviavia Village is in the district of Wailevu in the province of Cakaudrove in Fiji and home to approximately 100 descendants of Solomon Islanders who came to Fiji as agricultural labourers. They live on a 300-acre piece of land given by the Anglican Church of Fiji. The main source of income for the community is selling marine products and copra. Access to Government programmes to expand or develop new livelihood opportunities have been limited.
The supply of food and nutritional balance of meals are major challenges for the community. With limited food produced by the community, it relies on food sourced from shops and urban centres outside the village or district. Food supplies are normally delivered by boat which can be unreliable. Consequently, malnutrition, particularly among children, is a challenge with stunting, wasting, and vitamin deficiency evident. Among the older population, the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as diabetes, heart attacks and strokes are becoming increasingly common.
This project will seek to strengthen food and nutrition security and overall community resilience to climate change and natural disasters through community training and capacity building, supporting a planting programme to increase production of nutritious food, carryout NCD education and awareness, and climate proofing village infrastructure and livelihoods.
The Naviavia Agriculture Training was conducted by Dr Rohit Lal and his training team from Taveuni, Wainigata, and Savusavu, educating the community on the different breeds of coconut, their importance, value and uses. A practical training on how to make coconut value adding products like coconut soap with and without charcoal, coconut water vinegar, virgin coconut oil, sinusinu oil and coconut handicrafts were taught to the women and youths of the village.
The village men were engaged in planting of root crops and coconut trees for food security purposes. A greenhouse has also been built for the community.
The commissioning of the deep freezer and solar system by Rev. Pita Unavalu of St Paul Naviavia Church was done at the opening of the training. This is one of the first output of the St Paul’s AAW Project. The project will seek to strengthen food security and overall community resilience.
We are certainly grateful to UNDP and the House of Sarah for this initiative, this project has certainly enhanced the capacity of our community members to explore how they can plan to utilize our own resources available in the village, stated by Rev. Pita Unavalu, Priest-in-charge, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Naviavia.
Building a resilient crop production system at Naviavia village with the guidance of the House of Sarah, the participation of school children and teachers at St Paul’s Primary School, Naviavia, Dr Rohit and his research team from Taveuni, Wainigata and Suva. SAO Cakaudrove, Mr I.Banuve and his team, SAO Bua Mr. A. Leweniqila and his team and the community of Naviavia village. Our sincere appreciation to all the partners for your contributions and time for such a worthy cause. Vinaka vakalevu – as stated by Project Coordinator and Assistant, Mr. Jone Robo and Mr. Kanito Matagasau.