Desegregate and get involved
Ratu Epeli, who is also the Earth Hour Ambassador believes people living in urban areas need to understand the challenges fellow Fijians residing in coastal areas face and get involved in helping them.
“Climate change is the phrase we all like to bandy about. But do we understand its significance?” he asked.
“Do we realise that many villages in Fiji will have to be relocated because the sea creeps into their homes at high tide?
“Do we know that the drinking water sources and plantations in some communities have been compromised because of salt water encroachment?
“In our comfortable locations in towns and cities we are often insulated from these truths. We often brush it aside because they are not affecting us directly.
“But should we just allow our fellow Fijians in the front line of these gradual and dramatic changes to face them alone?”
Earth Hour Blue is a fundraising mechanism for crowd-gathering and crowd-funding used to raise funds for the Switch on for Mali project, targeted at not only outfitting Mali district community halls with solar panels for lighting, but also in ushering in a lifestyle attuned to renewable, clean energy sources.
Money raised is also aimed at purchasing water tanks and allowing residents of the four villages in the district, Vesi, Ligau, Nakawaqa and Matailabasa, access to clean, drinking water.
The lack of vegetation on the island has to an extent compromised water sources, making it a troublesome issue, to a point where water is carted to the island every so often. Dry weather conditions associated with climate change is a worry. Islanders rely on diesel powered generators for electricity, does not complement efforts of the district in protecting a portion of their qoliqoli both for food and income security now and for posterities sake.
Switch on for Mali has the potential for encouraging a lifestyle that is sustainable.
Mali district is one of four districts that collectively own customary
fishing rights to Qoliqoli Cokovata of Macuata. The qoliqoli span 1334 square kilometers of oceans. About 153 square kilometers of it is no fishing area. The QCMC is a mechanism
WWF-South Pacific Representative Kesaia Tabunakawai said funds raised will strengthen the ability of the people of Mali to look after their qoliqoli.
“The use of the qoliqoli is regulated by a set of rules agreed to by the qoliqoli members, to protect the mangroves, seagrass and reefs, and allow fish and other living organisms within to grow,” she said.
“As we know, a healthy ecosystem is better equipped to withstand impact of climate change.
“The dinner tonight is for the people of Mali. Funds raised will improve their ability to look after their qoliqoli for the benefit of us all, even in Suva.
“Chances are high the fish you buy at the market was caught in their qoliqoli.”