10 Apr 2007

CCF hopeful Fiji TV will screen documentary on squatter settlements shortly

3:25 pm on 10 April 2007

The Citizens Constitutional Forum, the CCF, in Fiji is hopeful that Fiji TV will soon screen a documentary it has had made on squatter settlements.

The executive director of CCF, the Reverend Akuila Yabaki, says they funded the tv programme because squatters have human rights under the constitution and there is an increasing number of people in such a situation.

It's estimated more than 100,000 people or about 12 percent of Fiji's population live in over 180 squatter settlements.

The Reverend Yabaki says it's not true that settlements produce criminality because most squatters are honest people on meagre incomes in areas without basic amenities of clean water or electricity.

"We hope the documentary would deepen people's understanding of the phenomena of squatter settlements in the hope that more can be done in the future with greater creativity. So, squatters should not be looked at as an eyesore so much but as people who are struggling for a better living."

The Reverend Yabaki says it's not helpful to attempt to resettle most of those living in squatter settlements because many have jobs and wish to remain close to where they make their living.