LäjeRotuma Initiative


Fapufa Day 2012: Launch of Tobacco-free Village

by Monifa Fiu

On 29 November, I was invited by the Health Inspector Mr Kevueli Toga to join others around the island who has links to Fapufa in celebration of the launch of its tobacco free village status. This is a first for Rotuma as well as the first island in the Eastern Division in Fiji to declare a tobacco free status, an initiative supported by the Ministry of Health. The health inspector had indicated that a process was initiated with Fapufa village before being endorsed by the community. The scope of work involved a community health profile being done (i.e. only five families) and community was treated to a 'healthy island setting' training program to formulate its action plan with the 7 steps for a tobacco-free setting implemented with a policy. The Tobacco-free Fapufa village policy endorsed by the headman, health worker and health inspector on behalf of the community highlighted a '300 metre- tobacco free zone before entering the village and to the end of the village'. Penalties given as spot fine of $10 to those found smoking within the village boundary including all visitors and tourists using the beachfront.

This launch initiated an annual day for Fapufa to raise money by free-will offering in support of building a village hall. Such humble beginnings and a first for the fara season in this small yet remote village nestled in one of the most pristine spots on the island.

To all of you with Fapufa links around the world please join us in the new year on this same date to both celebrate and work in achieving the establishment of a village hall in this far flung corner of Rotuma.

Fapufa Beachfront
Beach at Fapufa

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