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Rabi women plant coconut trees to avert disasters

FIJI TIMES ONLINE  Salaseini Vosamana Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BEING victims of climate change for the past years, a group of women from Tukavesi village in Cakaudrove have taken a strong stand to plant coconut trees to safeguard their shores from such disaster.

The initiative organised by the Banaban Women's Organisation in partnership with Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation was aimed at empowering women to make use of the available resources in a manageable way.

Organisation president Terikano Takesau said the initiative would not only help villagers from climate change but also generate sources of income for individual families.

"We conducted a workshop where the 40 participants where trained to make use of natural resources as most of them are unemployed," Ms Takesau said.

"The program includes the production of coconut oil, soap, cocoa vinegar, charcoal and coconut tree planting," she said.

"Coconut trees are important because most of its parts are used for medicines, handicrafts, baskets and brooms," she added.

Ms Takesau said the initiative was a challenge to men because they had shown their great concern towards the safety of the villagers as a whole. "If women can take up the role, I don't see any reason why men should sit back and wait for disasters to happen in order to take action.

"We all play an important role in protecting our surroundings and I hope this initiative will be a motivating factor to men and other villages in the country.

"Planting of trees is essential because it is very handy when disaster strikes," she said.

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