Insight Feature

COVID-19 delivers a body blow to Pacific tourism

  1 month ago     247 Views     Comments Off on COVID-19 delivers a body blow to Pacific tourism  

The Asian Development Bank expects tourism-based economies in the Pacific to drop by 0.3 per cent this year. Picture: GUARDIAN PACIFIC/ By SHELDON CHANEL, Guardian Pacific The Pacific’s $4.2 billion tourism industry has been brought to its knees by COVID-19, with no certain signs of a proper recovery for at least two years. Tourism receipts from air travel alone totalled US$4.2b in 2019, an increase from US$4b in 2018. The economic fallout from the decline is expected to be severe in a region prone to natural disasters, and high levels of poverty and unemployment. National airlines in Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa,…

View More

Desperate times unleash digital creativity, flexibility for j-schools

  2 months ago     278 Views     Comments Off on Desperate times unleash digital creativity, flexibility for j-schools  

Picture: By Sri Krishnamurthi, contributing editor of Pacific Media Watch Desperate times call for desperate measures and so it is with journalism schools throughout the Pacific with each of them trying new and innovative methods in the age of Covid-19 coronavirus. Faced with the global pandemic, they are following an overarching dictum, safety of students first and then looking at ways of teaching them – albeit remotely. Without a doubt The Junction, a collaborative university student journalism publication covering Australia, NZ and the Pacific, is a highly creative and enterprising website – and it’s ahead of the game. It cut its…

View More

‘Love letter to my younger self’

  4 months ago     222 Views     Comments Off on ‘Love letter to my younger self’  

A little girl reads Kaluti by local author Shazia Usman. Picture: SUPPLIED By EMI KOROITANOA An old proverb suggests that a pen is far mightier than a sword. For Shazia Usman, her new book comes with a mighty message for all Fijians — “Our first love should always be ourselves”. Usman had recently launched her first ever self-published novel, sharing that it was “a love letter to my younger self”. Kaluti entails the story about a 10-year-old girl from Suva called Zia who hears her Fua (paternal aunt) call her kaluti – a derogatory slang commonly used among South Asians,…

View More

Dugout wells a lifeline for Vatukola

  6 months ago     354 Views     Comments Off on Dugout wells a lifeline for Vatukola  

Villagers of Vatukola in Kakabona, northwest of Honiara in the Solomon Islands have been forced to dig new wells as water sources have become scarce in the community. Picture: ROMEKA KUMARI By ROSALIE NONGEBATU, Wansolwara THE sight of several dug out wells greet us at Vatukola Village in Kakabona, northwest of Honiara in the Solomon Islands. It rains fairly often in Honiara and historically, fresh water has been plentiful. But in recent years, the wells, which once provided a ready source of water, have been mysteriously drying up. Scientists from Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change have found that while drought, heavy rain…

View More

Stumbling blocks at Kukum

  6 months ago     359 Views     Comments Off on Stumbling blocks at Kukum  

Troubling waterfront at Kukum Fishing Village. Sea level rise and storm surges often leaves homes by the coast inundated with seawater. Picture: ROMEKA KUMARI By ROMEKA KUMARI, Wansolwara CLIMATE change has been a heavily debated global topic. For many people, climate change has become an ongoing battle for survival. Kukum Fishing villagers in Honiara believe that climate change is real and that their surrounding environment is living proof. A coastal plain situated along the Kukum Highway in Honiara, the village is one of four selected climate change hotspots in a 2014 climate change vulnerability assessment report on Honiara by the United Nations Development Programme…

View More

Hope for a better tomorrow

  6 months ago     778 Views     Comments Off on Hope for a better tomorrow  

Lord Howe Settlement youth Leoray Panra relays his experience dealing with climate change in Honiara. Picture: BEN BILUA/WANSOLWARA By BEN BILUA, Wansolwara LIVING in an informal settlement comes with sacrifice, patience and dreams of a better future. Day in and day out is always a challenge when it comes to basic services like water and sanitation as well as simple hygiene practices. External shock and stresses due to adaptation deficit in urban infrastructure, housing and service provision are also issues of concern. There are untold testimonies with a few happy endings while other testimonies exposed emotional hardships and depression among those living…

View More

Logging the life out of Lungga

  6 months ago     1024 Views     Comments Off on Logging the life out of Lungga  

Vatukola Village resident Anna Madi, left, does laundry in the Boneghe River in Guadalcanal as granddaughter Erica looks on. Vatukola is located in West Honiara, Solomon Islands. Picture: ROMEKA KUMARI By ROSALIE NONGEBATU, Wansolwara “There is a particular tree that grows by the Lungga River. We call it the lania tree. I have been by the riverside and I have seen the tree. I have seen our father, even our great grannies walk alongside the Lungga River and gaze at the tree. I have been told, countless times, that breaking even the smallest part of the tree and dropping it in the…

View More

First-hand encounters inspire USP journalism news team on climate change reporting assignment

  11 months ago     1269 Views     Comments Off on First-hand encounters inspire USP journalism news team on climate change reporting assignment  

The Barana Nature and Heritage Park is a milestone for community-based conservation in Solomon Islands. Activities include reforestation to reduce flood risks, replanting of stream or watershed areas to reduce soil erosion and sustainable land-use management practices. Picture: ROSALIE NONGEBATU/WANSOLWARA By GERALDINE PANAPASA Hearing first-hand the experiences of Solomon Islanders directly affected by climate change on a regular basis was an overwhelming experience for three final-year journalism students from The University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. The students, Rosalie Nongebatu, Ben Bilua and Romeka Kumari, were part of the environmental reporting team that travelled to the Solomon Islands capital, Honiara, last month. The trip was sponsored by the Internews/Earth Journalism…

View More

Investigative Report: Death trap on wheels

  11 months ago     966 Views     Comments Off on Investigative Report: Death trap on wheels  

The traditional wide-open buses at the Suva bus stand. Picture: MONICA AGUILAR/WANSOLWARA By MONICA AGUILAR PASSENGERS on a good number of buses on Fiji’s roads are at risk in the event of a fire because of multiple hazards such as flawed design, lack of exits, overcrowding, and highly inflammable material used for bus construction, says a major local bus operator. The managing director of Fiji Transport Company Limited, Anil Singh, has urged Government to re-examine policies for the types of buses imported into country, the materials used in their construction locally, and their design. Fiji Transport Company Limited is a…

View More

‘Flight of the myna’ – a reflection of Fiji 30 years on

  1 year ago     730 Views     Comments Off on ‘Flight of the myna’ – a reflection of Fiji 30 years on  

First-year journalism and politics student Dhruvkaran Nand, left, speaks to Sri Krishnamurthi about the impending 2018 Fiji election. Picture: WANSOLWARA STAFF   By SRI KRISHNAMURTHI When I left Fiji 30 years ago, a week after the first coup in 1987, I planned to write a book titled “The flight of the myna” – a pesky, noisy bird, which can talk if trained, was introduced to Fiji by our forefathers from India. The book wasn’t to be, but that very thought crossed my mind again as the plane taxied down the runaway to a halt at the Nausori International Airport. I…

View More