Friday, April 03, 2009

No other way?

No other way - 4/3/2009

Now after the March multi-million joint military and police drug raid in Noikoro, Navosa has its share of wonderment, condemnation and publicity, the fact remains that unless reasonable improvement is made in lifestyle and marketing crops, a more costly and efficient monitoring system would have to be undertaken by the state in order to eradicate the cultivation of the “invaluable” crop in the district. The reason being, unlike other districts, Noikoro, village traditional leadership except for Namoli is almost non-existent. With the untimely passing away of the late Tui Noikoro, Adi Kuini Vuikaba and the poor state of the chiefly residence of Lomaiviti, in Korolevu does not make anything easier for the eradication of drugs.
In the meantime if churches continue to show negligible effort, as in the past, in converting their church members to more holistic and lofty ideals of Christianity, then God helps us. Instead of plotting against the interim regime, the churches should be more concerned about the spiritual well being of their members and the potential tragedy of all the consumer of marijuana in this country. Obviously there is a general passivity and lack of prophetic guidance from that direction.

The provision of substitution crop is a myth. It is a well known fact in the district that in a good day, a six foot marijuana plant may fetch up to $2,000. Both “substitution crop” and “awareness programme” had been suggested in the past but hardly implemented. To continue to suggest them shows that there are not too many options around.

A more practical solution perhaps is improving the lifestyle through infrastructure development particularly of the 50-60 mile long Sigatoka Valley road. For a market vendor (especially women) traveling that distance daily without taking into account the changeable road conditions is a persecution in itself. Marijuana then provides a more comfortable alternative to the hardships of lengthy truck ride and heavier root crops.

If drug cultivation and trafficking is turning out to be a potential national disaster then it needs and warrant a more pragmatic, broad based and lasting solution. If national interest is at stake then national resources needs to be utilised to save the country from impending ruin.

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