What way of life do people in your village expect for the future? あなたの村の人々は、将来の暮らしはどうあるべきだと考えていますか?


People have been talking about ‘sustainable development’. All human rights should be realized, which is universal standard ‘sustainable development’ must be about. We also know that the environment we live in and are part of has limitation in its capacity. ‘Sustainable development’ we think about, on the other hand, is specific to different given contexts. Geographic, cultural, demographic conditions have been shaping our ideas of ‘sustainable development’.

How do you think your village should go for the future generations? People in Qoma Island shared their lives and views.



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASera lives with husband, three sons and nine grand children.

She started fishing when she got married. She goes to the sea when it is sunny, sometime by boat to fish, sometimes go around the reef in low tide to glean. She follows advice from her son when to go to the sea. When the weather is not good enough to go fishing, she weaves mats at home.

For the next generations she hopes that the village life will continue just in a way it is going on now rather than having changes.


Leba is from Beqa island, came to Qoma when she married. She usually goes to fish. She lives with her husband and four children.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe would like to see that the life style of future generations in the village will change so as to adapt to the changing society and economy. She wants her children to have higher education (university level) and better employment opportunities.

Her son wants to become a soldier and defend his country. Her husband wants the community to remain as it is, does not want change.


Milika has been fishing since she was a child. She goes to fish almost everyday. She has four children. She is proud of her two daughters who go to fish by themselves and are able to feed the family when their parents do not go to the sea.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe has been serving the village as a health worker. She provides medicines to the villagers and takes the sick and injured to the hospital by boat to the main island when needed. She is sometimes invited to participate in the trainings where she gets information on health to share with the villagers.

She observed no change occurred in the fish, the catch and the sea since she started fishing.

She would like her children to do fishing like she has been doing and expects them to look after their extended family.





Changes are always happening in our villages in this globalised world. Information and knowledge on the facts, effects and consequences would be crucial for our conscious decision making on what changes to bring and prevent. Also as someone said, being aware is not enough, need to act.

What way of life do people in your village expect for the future? What has to be changed and what should be kept as it is?



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAQoma Island is located around 2 hours from the capital city, Suva by bus and then 3 minutes from the shore by boat. Qoma consists of three islands. Most of the houses are located in Nabulebulewa (concentrated in around 100m x 100m) which is connected by a bridge to the biggest island, Qoma Levu where some houses are located on the lower part and higher part has been cultivated for crops. Qoma Lailai island is on the other side of Qoma Levu.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow is the life in Qoma Island?

§  50 households live in the island. They also have a village hall, a church and a kindergarten.
§  They are connected t o the grid. Gas cylinders, woods and coconut husks etc are used for cooking. Rain water is harvested in a tank by each household.
§  They boat to the main island for schools and hospitals.
§  Boat transfer to and from the main island is managed by a family (50c/ way)
§  There is a small glossary shop run by a family.
§  Waste water from households is not treated, released to the sea. Garbage is segregated and buried or burnt in the island.



§  Most of them go fishing. Both men and women go and fish by boat. Men tent to go further while women also gather around the reef. “We go and fish when we want to eat”.
§  Big fish are sold while smaller ones for home consumption. The village chief decides the size of fish which should be returned to the sea
§  Both women and men sell fish at the market or to the middle persons. The price is usually fixed without harsh negotiations with the buyers.
§  Farming: They plant root crops (cassava, yam, sweet potato) for their consumption. They have few vegetables.
§  Mat making with pandanus leaves for village functions and household use is done mostly by women but some men do, too.



The village has several committees which everyone voluntarily gets involved in, e.g. youth, women, church, education, water, fisheries management. Each committee discusses the issues and brings to the town hall meeting with the village chief. Village chief is usually a man chosen by men.

The village decided: don’t dump the garbage in the sea; don’t cut the mangroves (for fire wood – replaced by cutting trees); replant mangroves from inner sea to the outer to prevent the waves. Mangrove replanting is usually done by men in the village.



§  One of the current problems is the increase in the fuel cost for the boat (benzene). When it is high, they do not go far but fish around the coast.
§  Some villagers said the size of fish is getting smaller and the catch is less than before. They suspect it is because more people from outside the village come to their sea and fish at night without permission.
§  They put the sea wall with coral rocks to prevent waves, which has been washed out.
§  Some observed high tide is higher than before and low tide is not as low as it used to be.
§  Coral bleaching is still observed (according to the research done by university students)






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