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Withstanding the rising tides: new concrete footpath makes village accessible in all weather

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21 Aug 2023
Tovulailai Village footpath project Oct 2022

Small yet practical changes, like a functional footpath, can make a big difference to a decent and comfortable living environment. Our Pacific neighbours know this well, as they constantly face significant environmental challenges.

Improving walkways to make them safer and usable was identified by Tovulailai villagers as one project that would make a positive impact in their community.

During their Participatory Approach to Safe Shelter Awareness (PASSA) training facilitated by Habitat Fiji, Tovulailai village on Nairai Island, Fiji, recognised that excessive rain, strong tides, and rising water levels had contributed to unsealed walkways in the community becoming muddy and impassable. The physical and social connections these walkways made meant that school attendance, medical appointments, church gatherings, and events at the community hall were at risk if the paths were unusable.

To address self-identified risks in the PASSA and Financial Literacy trainings, communities are given a grant to support a project. Through this grant, materials were sourced for Tovulailai village to construct a concrete village footpath. This footpath now connects the community hall, church, and medical centre. This vital footpath is only one of the many community projects that is improving access to a decent place to live in the Pacific.

About Habitat’s shelter trainings:

Supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and facilitated by in-country partner organisations, the five-year Negotiated Partnerships (NP) programme facilitates community-led shelter trainings in Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga; Participatory Approach to Safe Shelter Awareness (PASSA), Build Back Safe (BBS), and Financial Literacy.

These trainings partner with local participants, teaching them how to cyclone strap shelters for durability, strengthen their own homes, assess potential risks in their community, and learn basic skills in project management and finance for both individual and community projects.

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