DDC is the peak body in the village as regards development of the village and of the villagers themselves. Its membership comprises men and women of Dravuni who are residents both on Dravuni and those who are working and living in Suva and in other centres on Viti Levu, Fiji’s biggest island. Amongst its membership are representatives of the church, Dravuni women and the youth. Other development committees, e.g. school and tourism, all report to the DDC.
The DDC operates in parallel with the ‘bose vakoro’ (village council). There are overlaps of issues between the two bodies. However, a workable division of labour has developed over the years, and there is unity in their co-existence. For 2010, the Chairperson of the DDC is also the Turaga ni Koro (village headman) who plays an influential role in the ‘bose vakoro’.
Ramalo (Chief) and village elders are not members of the DDC but they occupy privileged places as observers whenever the committee meets.
DDC’s work is in accordance with its 2007-2011 Five Year Development Plan. The Plan’s principal sectors for development include: Education; Health, Safety, Community and Spiritual Life; Tourism; Agriculture and Fisheries; Transportation; Power/Electricity/Energy; and Others (Art and Craft, Women’s Development, Investments and Dravuni Day).
DDC Suva advances work of DDC
For convenience, the members of the DDC resident in Suva and in Viti Levu are collectively referred to as DDC Suva. Those resident in Dravuni are referred to as DDC Dravuni. DDC Suva provides the bridge to government, the business community, the NGO/NSA and other agencies in Suva and elsewhere. It also provides technical and strategic advice to the DDC.
DDC Suva met on Friday, 26 February 2009, to identify and finalize the priority development projects for 2010. This exercise benefited from the views expressed and the various criteria discussed by the whole DDC on 28 December 2009 (see DDC Update, Posting on the ‘Home’ page on 31 January 2010.)
The various projects for 2010 vary in size, costs and complexity. Some involve a range of stakeholders and authorities in Suva, and one in particular involves a major and important stakeholder outside Fiji.
One involving the University of the South Pacific (USP) is to do with an MOU to be signed and which will guide the conduct and operations of the USP-owned Dravuni Research Station on the island. This Research Station will host researches in a number of disciplines including: marine science, sustainable development, environment, education at the community level, waste management, climate change, biodiversity, coral reefs, tourism, eco-tourism, micro-enterprise, management of marine areas, community development and Astrolabe lagoon.
That involving an outside agency relates to the proposed construction of a new pontoon, to replace the existing one, and which will facilitate embarkation and disembarkation of tourists visiting Dravuni on cruise liners. Below is a picture of one similar to that being proposed for Dravuni.