Fiji is one of the first nations to see the morning sun each day. The South Pacific country, comprise over 300 islands of which about one-third are inhabited. The two major islands, VitiLevu and Vanua Levu, account for 87 percent of the population.
Endowed with rich forest, mineral and fish resources, Fiji is one of the most developed Pacific island economies and serves as a hub for many small island nations.
The past decade has seen an increasing number of Fijians moving to urban areas. As in many other Pacific Island nations, people perceive greater opportunities in towns and cities. But there are additional reasons why Fijians are moving out of rural areas. For example, Indo-Fijian cane farmers lack customary land rights and increasingly their agricultural land leases have not been renewed, so they have moved to urban areas. Urban areas have also been considered safer since the political upheavals of 2000. Whatever the driver, the result has been rapid, unplanned growth in squatter and informal settlements, especially in the capital Suva and Lautoka city on VitiLevu. New Zealand’s International Aid & Development Agency (NZAID) estimates at least 140,000 people – 17 percent of Fiji’s population – live in one of more than 180 squatter or informal settlements. These households lack piped water, adequate sanitation, electricity or rubbish disposal. Given the housing situation, it is estimated that Fiji will need an additional 30,000 houses over the next 15 years, according to some estimates.
In rural areas or villages, indigenous Fijian families do have access to community-owned land on which they can build homes. In urban and suburban areas however, Indo-Fijians and indigenous Fijians have difficulty finding sufficient, affordable land with secure tenure.
To acquire land and build a home in a city can cost at least 40,000 to 50,000 Fiji dollars (US$20,940- 26,180). Over the past three decades, the state Fiji Housing Authority has found that the formal housing market caters to upper income groups. The Housing Authority has bookings for over 1,500 houses in Suva that is yet to be delivered.
As of 2007 around 12.5% of Fiji’s population was living in informal settlements. This portion is intensified to around 20% of the population living along the Lami-Suva-Nausori corridor.
The Government recognizing this potential problem can get out of control if not mitigated, announced in the 2011 budget an allocation of FJ$10 million stimulus grant to be given to eligible families as down payment for purchase their first home.
Recognizing this acute shortage of housing coupled with the ever increasing urban migration, Top Symphony proposed to the Government of Fiji through the Housing Authority the development of Waila City.
Quick Summary on Introduction
- Fiji comprises more than 300 islands of one third of the islands are inhabited
- Endorsed with rich forest, mineral & fish resources
- Sugar exports is still the main leading foreign exchange, with the growing Tourist industry.
- Most developed Pacific Island economy & hub to many small islands
- Fiji is an island group in the South Pacific Ocean, about two thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. Fiji became independent in 1970 after nearly a century as a British Colony.
- The total land area of Fiji is 18,270 sq. km.
- Climate : tropical marine; only slight seasonal temperature variation.
- Terrain : large islands are mountainous and of volcanic origin while most of the un-inhabited islands are coral islands with a few also volcanic.
- Elevation : MSL to 1,324m (Mt Tomanivi being the highest point.)
- Population : 950,000 (approx)
- Literacy Rate : 93.7 %
- GDP : Purchasing Power Parity - $5.007 billion