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Copyright United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), 2012 All rights reserved United Nations Human Settlements Programme publications can be obtained from UN-Habitat Regional and Information Offices or directly from: P.O. Box 30030, GPO 00100 Nairobi, Kenya. Fax: + (254 20) 762 4266/7 E-mail: Website:

HS Number: HS/081/12E ISBN Number (Series): 978-92-1-132023-7 ISBN Number (Volume): 978-92-1-132495-2

The designation employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries, or regarding its economic system or degree of development. The analysis, conclusions and recommendations of the report do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the Governing Council of UN-Habitat or its Member States. This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Excerpts from this publication may be reproduced without authorisation, on condition that the source is indicated. Photo credits: UN-Habitat

Design and Layout: Florence Kuria





According to research published in UN-Habitats1 flagship report, The State of the Worlds Cities 2010-2011, all developing regions, including the African, Caribbean and Pacific states, will have more people living in urban than rural areas by the year 2030. With half the worlds population already living in urban areas, the challenges we face in the battle against urban poverty, our quest for cities without slums, for cities where women feel safer, for inclusive cities with power, water and sanitation, and affordable transport, for better planned cities, and for cleaner, greener cities is daunting. But as this series shows, there are many interesting solutions and best practices to which we can turn. After all, the figures tell us that during the decade 2000 to 2010, a total of 227 million people in the developing countries moved out of slum conditions. In other words, governments, cities and partner institutions have collectively exceeded the slum target of the Millennium Development Goals twice over and ten years ahead of the agreed 2020 deadline. Asia and the Pacific stood at the forefront of successful efforts to reach the slum target, with all governments in the region improving the lives of an estimated 172 million slum dwellers between 2000 and 2010. In sub-Saharan Africa though, the total proportion of the urban population living in slums has decreased by only 5 per cent (or 17 million people). Ghana, Senegal, Uganda, and Rwanda were the most successful countries in the sub-region, reducing the proportions of slum dwellers by over one-fifth in the last decade. Some 13 per cent of the progress made towards the global slum target occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean, where an estimated 30 million people have moved out of slum conditions since the year 2000. Yet, UN-Habitat estimates confirm that the progress made on the slum target has not been sufficient to counter the demographic expansion in informal settlements in the developing world. In this sense, efforts to reduce the numbers of slum dwellers are neither satisfactory nor adequate. As part of our drive to address this crisis, UN-Habitat is working with the European Commission and the Brussels-based Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group to support sustainable urban development. Given the urgent and diverse needs, we found it necessary to develop a tool for rapid assessment and strategic planning to guide immediate, mid and long-term interventions. And here we have it in the form of this series of publications. The Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme is based on the policy dialogue between UN-Habitat, the ACP Secretariat and the European Commission which dates back to the year 2002. When the three parties met at UN-Habitat headquarters in June 2009, more than 200 delegates from over 50 countries approved a resounding call on the international community to pay greater attention to these urbanization matters, and to extend the slum upgrading programme to all countries in the ACP Group. It is worth recalling here how grateful we are that the European Commissions 9th European Development Fund for ACP countries provided EUR 4 million (USD 5.7 million at June 2011 rates) to enable UN-Habitat to conduct the programme which now serves 59 cities in 23 African countries, and more than 20 cities in six Pacific, and four Caribbean countries. Indeed, since its inception in 2008, the slum upgrading programme has achieved the confidence of partners at city and country level in Africa, the Caribbean and in the Pacific. It is making a major contribution aimed at helping in urban poverty reduction efforts, as each report in this series shows." I wish to express my gratitude to the European Commission and the ACP Secretariat for their commitment to this slum upgrading programme. I have every confidence that the results outlined in this profile, and others, will serve to guide the development of responses for capacity building and investments in the urban sector. Further, I would like to thank each Country Team for their continued support to this process which is essential for the successful implementation of the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme.

UN-Habitat - United Nations Human Settlements Programme

Dr. Joan Clos Executive Director, UN-Habitat

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The Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme is an accelerated and action-oriented urban assessment of needs and capacity-building gaps at the city level. The European Commissions European Development Fund supports this programme which is being implemented in 59 cities of 23 African countries, as well as 21 cities in four Pacific and three Caribbean countries. The programme uses a structured approach where priority interventions are agreed on through consultative processes. The programmes methodology consists of three phases: (1) a rapid participatory urban profiling at national and local levels, focusing on governance, local economic development, land, gender, environment, slums and shelter, basic urban services, waste management, and proposed interventions; (2) detailed priority proposals; and (3) project implementation. Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme in Fiji encompasses profiles for Suva and Lautoka. Each profile is published as a separate report. This is the Suva City report; it constitutes a general background and a synthesis of the five themes: governance and finance; urban planning and management; land development and administration; infrastructure and basic urban services; and climate change and disaster management. The jurisdiction of Greater Suva does not extend to the few traditional villages that lie within its vicinity. Rather, these villages are under the authority of the Fijian Affairs Act. The Central Board of Health, through application of public health regulations, administers development control. There are gaps and pressure areas within the city proper that do not fall within its jurisdiction; these are areas that fall under the Suva Rural and Nausori Rural Local Authorities. These areas are dominantly residential and have been released for urban uses through the vakavanua arrangements with traditional Letters of Understanding on native lands in the Suva-Nausori corridor. Vakavanua are customary land arrangements with Fijians and non Fijians.[ Since the Local Government Review and Reform of 2008, Suva City Council has been administered and managed by a special administrator, replacing democratically-elected councillors, with a chief executive officer as the city manager. With Suva as the main trading centre, Lami has grown, as it is no longer a mere sub-centre to Suva. Nasinu is a residential town and its growth stems from the transport sector.

The Greater Suva urban area is set on a peninsula along the Suva-Nausori corridor, extending to undulating lands from the coastal west of Lami Town to the eastern delta town of Nausori, where its geographical features have influenced urban growth as well as the character and management of each urban centre. Lami lies west of the peninsula and rises towards the north while the nations capital city, Suva, and Nasinu Town reveal topographies of hilly areas and tablelands, providing the natural setting for growth along Kings Road. On the most eastern end lies Nausori which is divided by the Rewa River. These physical attributes play a role in the level and provision of infrastructure and services. In contrast to the dry city of Lautoka and the wet town of Nadi, Greater Suva continuously experiences high rainfall by virtue of its location, particularly Suva and Lami. They are declared as vulnerable areas because of the fault lines that run from Veisari to Suva.


To manage Greater Suva urban area and ensure its coordinated growth, Greater Suvas primary planning tools include the Approved Town Planning Scheme and the Greater Suva Urban Growth Management Plan of 2004. Nasinu currently operates under a Draft Town Planning Scheme to regulate and control development. These consists of a zoning map; planning scheme reports which provide strategic policy directions for the town, including areas projected for growth and the town planning general provisions; the regulating document outlining standards; and development control guidelines supplementary to town planning schemes. Other planning tools and documents for control are sectoral. They include the Suva Foreshore Master Plan, and the plan of agencies whose jurisdiction covers areas within the Greater Suva vicinity; for example the Native Lands Trust Board, the Land Use Master Plan of the Greater Suva Urban (2006), the Nausori Airport Runway Extension (2006), and the five-year Fiji Tourism Master Plan of 2007. Most of these plans were formulated through an extensive consultation process. For the purpose of local area control and management, other regulations in place include Public Health and Building Regulations, the National Building Code and the Environment Impact Assessment Regulations.



Greater Suva urban is made up of the towns of Lami, Nasinu, Nausori, and the city of Suva, each responsible for its management and administration as mandated under sections 5 and 6 of the Local Government Act (Cap125). Suva is the dominant centre and the others are its satellites.



Land in Greater Suva, like any other urban centre in Fiji, covers the three main land tenures: State, native and freehold land. While administration of freehold properties rests entirely with private individuals, State and native lands are administered by the director of lands and the Taukei Lands Trust Board, respectively. The Taukei Lands Trust Board is the custodian, hence is the agency that the Native Lands Trust Act has mandated to administer Taukei lands or that which indigenous landowning units own communally. State land is administered under the Crown Lands Act. Nasinu and Nausori have pursued boundary extensions in their effort to increase land for economic development and for urban residential homes. Any future land for expansion, including proposed boundary extensions, consist of native land within northern Suva: that is to say Tacirua, Tovata and Nausori, extending northeast. Farmlands adjoin the town boundary north-east of Nausori and could be used for additional industrial land.


The Greater Suva Urban Growth Management Plan recorded that at least 20 per cent of the Greater Suva population still lived in underserviced peri-urban areas and in the informal settlements. Recent upgrading works by the Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing, and Environment in some of the informal settlements within the region - such as Bangladesh, Lakena, Caubati, Omkari, and Lami - will result in an increase in access to proper services within the next five years. This is in addition to proposed major residential subdivisions within the Suva-Nausori corridor and the peri-urban areas of Suva and Nausori.



Urban Profiling The Greater Suva Urban Profiling consists of an accelerated, action-oriented assessment of urban conditions. The profiling focuses on priority needs, capacity gaps and existing institutional responses at local and national levels. The purpose of the study is to develop urban poverty reduction policies at local, national and regional levels, through an assessment of needs and response mechanisms, and as a contribution to the wider-ranging implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. The study is based on analysis of existing data and a series of interviews with all relevant urban stakeholders. These stakeholders include local communities and institutions; civil society; the private sector; development partners; and academics. The consultation typically results in a collective agreement on priorities and their development into proposed capacity-building and other projects that are aimed at urban poverty reduction. The urban profiling is being implemented in 30 African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, offering an opportunity for comparative regional analysis. Once completed, this series of studies will provide a framework for central and local authorities and urban actors, as well as donors and external support agencies. building and capital investment projects. Phase three implements the projects developed during the two earlier phases, with an emphasis on skills development, institutional strengthening and replication. This report presents the outcomes of Phase One at the local level in Suva.


Urban Profiling in Fiji encompasses a national profile as well as those for Suva (the capital), Lautoka (a midsize city) and Nadi (a small-size city). Each profile is published as a separate report. This is the Greater Suva Urban Profile report which constitutes a general background, a synthesis of the major five themes: governance and finance; urban planning and management; land development and administration; infrastructure and basic urban services; climate change and disaster management. This report also outlines project proposals that are considered relevant to the Greater Suva Urban Profiling.

This report consists of: 1. A general background of the urban sector of Greater Suva. The backgrounder is based on the findings of assessment of the municipal councils reports, strategic plans, desk studies, interviews, and questionnaires. The backgrounder includes data on administration, urban planning, economy, the informal and private sectors, urban poverty, infrastructure and basic urban services, public transport, energy, social services, rural-urban linkages, town-traditional urban village linkages, land tenure and administration, health, and education. 2. A synthetic assessment of five main areas: governance and finance; urban planning and management; land development and administration; infrastructure and basic urban services; and climate change and disaster management. This section also provides an overview of the existing institutional set-up, regulatory framework, resource mobilization, and performance. A list of project proposals to attend to areas of priority is also identified. 3. A basic strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis, and an outline of priority project proposals for each theme, is also provided.

The Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme consists of three phases:


Phase one consists of the rapid profiling of urban conditions at national and local levels. The capital city, a medium-sized city and a small town are selected and studied to provide a representative sample in each country. The analysis focuses on five themes: governance and finance; urban planning and management; land development and administration; infrastructure and basic urban services; and climate change and disaster management. Information is collected through standard interviews and discussions with institutions and key informants, in order to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the national and local urban set-ups. The findings are presented and refined during city and national consultation workshops and consensus is reached regarding priority interventions. National and city reports synthesize the information collected and outline ways to reduce urban poverty through holistic approaches. Phase two builds on the priorities identified through pre-feasibility studies and develops detailed capacity-



An estimated 57 per cent of the countrys urban population (approximately 244,000 people) resides within the study region. The projected urban population of the Greater Suva is shown in the table below based on the population census of 2001, 2007 and annual recording of the Fiji Bureau of Statistics.

With over 60 per cent of the national economys income generated in the urban centres, the main trade and business centre of the country is the Greater Suva urban region. The ports and points of entry generate economic activity; with vessels, including cruise-liners, berthing at the Suva Harbour along with their domestic and foreign visitors to the capital city. The Nausori and

Area SUVA Incorporated Peri-Urban Lami Incorporated Peri-Urban NASINU Incorporated Peri-Urban NAUSORI Incorporated Peri-Urban NAVUA Urban GREATER SUVA Incorporated

1996 Pop 167,975 77,366 90,609 18,928 10,556 8,732 78,820 0 74,985 21,617 5,744 15,873 4,183 4,183

86/96% 20012 1.06 2.39 2.08 0.32 88,429 1.75 2.39 46,510 0.92 6.16 4.2 84,859 81,405 3,454 20,164 11,662 8,052 71,000 7,820 53,841 18,135 28,375 5,105

20012006 2011% 89,435 1.06 1.06 22,197 2.08 1.75 1.75 2.39 62,692 0.92 4.2 4.2


20112016 2021% 99,308 0.5 1.06 29,921 2.08 2.00 1.00 2.00 0.92 2.65 4.2 4,046



94,257 96,748 85,794 90,419 3,641 4,046 24,437 27,040 12,925 14,324 9,272 10,113

92,702 95,043 Incorporated 4,264 Peri-Urban Lami 15,875 17,594 Incorporated 11,165 12,327 Peri-Urban NASINU 94,502 99,322 Incorporated 10,270 11,338 Peri-Urban NAUSORI 20,806 21, 781 Incorporated 48,799 55,616 Peri-Urban NAVUA 9,457 11,615 Urban GREATER SUVA

99,217 104,772 110,661 79,900 89,915 8,529 9,302 69,605 77,397 18,985 19,875 34,856 42,817 6, 270 7, 700









[Source: UGMAP, December 2004, FBOS Key Statistics 2011] The Greater Suvas current population has surpassed the projected 213,545 in the Urban Growth Management Plan Report of 2006. It shall be noted that this figure does not account for residents of traditional villages within the town boundary who are exempted as per the Local Government Act (Cap125).

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Nadi airports also boost economic activity. Imminent airport runway extensions are bound to increase these activities through greater demand for aviation services. This will impact Nausori as a point of entry and parking or transit routes for some of the major flights throughout the South Pacific, including New Zealand and Australia. Nausori is growing in anticipation of the runway extension which will accommodate larger aircrafts from three of the countrys major provinces: Rewa, Tailevu and Naitasiri. This will also lead to an increase in airport and airline catering, cargo centres and other aviation operations. Improvements in access have directly triggered an increase in the agricultural economy. This is reflected in the towns municipal produce market, corresponding to the urgent need for the Nausori Town Council to develop its bus station and market. The public transport industry thrives in Nasinu. However, there is a high rate of traffic congestion. As a result, the central government has committed to widening Kings Road and several minor bridges. These infrastructures, once built, will play a major role in boosting business activity along the Suva-Nausori corridor. Greater Suva Urban also embarked on joint ventures with the private sector on major commercial developments.

Fiji Bureau of Statistics records over 60 per cent of the countrys population as having has direct access to clean drinking water through connection to the water reticulation system that the Water Authority of Fiji administers. The continued upgrading of projects by the Water Authority of Fiji reflects the Governments commitment to provide this basic need to all its citizens. However, the continued water cuts and shortages of the last 10 years in Greater Suva have undermined this effort.


The old subdivisions within the Greater Suva Urban area have no connection to the sewerage system. However areas developed from the mid-1990s became subjected to urban standards, requiring mandatory connections. All new developments within Suva and Nasinu are connected to the sewerage system. The wastewater management upgrading works of the SuvaNausori corridor, which the Asian Development Bank supports, aim to extend sewerage connections to Lami and Nausori. This will improve the urban environment and public health. Provision of sanitation, sewerage and solid waste management services within informal settlements vary and are ad-hoc. This puts the health of informal settlement residents at risk. The Naboro landfill is the main basin for dumping of solid waste in Greater Suva. Waste from all the major urban centres ends up here. The Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment - through the Department of Environment - has identified a waste transfer station site in Suva to reduce the high costs of transporting garbage to the Naboro landfill. Commencement of work at this transfer facility is still at the preliminary stage as each municipality within Greater Suva Urban area seeks to identify its own landfill or transfer site.


Majority of the working population are engaged in formal employment. The tourism and transport industries employ most people. Greater Suva is the main economic hub of Fiji; generating activities in commerce, industry, information technology, and manufacturing. Tourism also provides income for the informal sectors in the sale of handicrafts and local artifacts. National Micro-Enterprise (the countrys main agency), Small Business Industries and the International Labour Organization assist the informal sector in areas that included capacity-building, the establishment of small businesses; and cottage industries. The Integrated Human Resource Development Programme of the Ministry of Labour has also had significant impact on the growth of the informal sector within urban and peri-urban areas.


The Fiji Electricity Authority serves residents of Greater Suva. Residents also receive the services of various communication and telecommunication providers, including mobile services.

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The interest to pursue alternative sources of energy, particularly solar, is fairly low, given the impact of climate change on the city and limited potential solar energy. However, city and town councils are encouraged to pursue energy-saving initiatives; Lami is operating vehicles that run on biofuel, whilst Suva has installed low energy lights within the Central Business District.


The rate of urbanization in the Greater Suva area is closely associated with the opportunities that exist for education, employment, commerce, and industry. The expiry of agricultural native leases in the rural west of Ba, Ra and Tavua; and from the Northern Division, particularly Labasa, has led to a huge migration of people to Greater Suva. However, this factor has also contributed to the increasing number of informal settlements. The landowning units of these villages do play a major role in determining land use, utilization and administration of their land in consultation with the I Taukei Lands Trust Board. While a percentage of involvement of governance has always been reserved for Letters of Understanding, through representations in municipal councils, the current Government system sees Letters of Understanding as being engaged in joint economic ventures. This is encouraged by the Ministry of Local Government and is in line with the Urban Policy Action Plan in tackling the ad-hoc release of prime native land.


The Council maintains all roads within Greater Suva town boundary all of which are tar-sealed. The main roads serving Greater Suva include Kings Road, which serves the Suva-Nausori corridor; part of the Suva-Nadi Highway and the main arterial roads such as Princess, Ratu Dovi and Wainibokasi. Other arteries to the existing road network are the main subdivisional roads within each sub-centre. The Governments position on road maintenance, through the Ministry of National Plannings Coordinating Committee Agency on Roads, has placed major pressure on Suva City Council in maintaining urban roads, as prioritization of road works rests with the Coordinating Committee Agency on Roads.

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The local government review and reform of 2008 has brought about positive changes and challenges to the administration and management of municipalities. The reform is an initiative of the Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing, and Environment. The Ministry has undertaken this in an effort to foster efficient service delivery, along principles of good governance, by municipalities. The main challenge is the sustainability of the reform initiatives because issues have started to surface since the reform started in 2008. Since the reform, the Greater Suva area has experienced changes at all facets of urban management. Some of the challenges include: That the role and responsibilities of special administrators and chief executive officers are not clearly defined such that, at times, differences triggered at the upper echelon have resulted in high turnover of personnel. The Government-appointed special administrators are also subjected to public scrutiny, such that complaints on their performance have also resulted in dismissals from office. This affects decisionmaking required under the Local Government Act. The ongoing improvement in rate collection has boosted the financial position and strength of

councils. However, there is also the pressure to comprehend and embrace the revenue collected by the councils and their capacity to manage these funds as received. The current accounting practices have not been sufficiently conducive to track fraudulent practices, as in the cases of Nasinu and Nausori. Urban finance issues affect the relationship between the councils and its ratepayers. While collection of current rates has been progressive, the pace of receiving rate arrears is enormous. This has resulted in revenue loss as councils tire of efforts to recover these outstanding rates. Moreover, there are increasing requests for waiving of rates but this is deemed unfair by those whose rates have been upto-date. The level of skilled workers or officers at the local government is a contributing factor to the administration of the council. There has been very little effort in human resource development and management in the Greater Suva, so that workers are abreast with the latest technology and knowhow in their operations for the betterment of the city. There is also no town planner in Greater Suva.

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Each of the municipalities within Greater Suva has an approved town planning scheme, allowing them to determine development within their boundaries. The limited capacity of qualified workers and within the municipalities, in understanding the operation of planning schemes, has resulted in their non-utilization and of planning scheme reports and statements. There is also a notable lack of understanding and acknowledgement of the existing planning documents by government infrastructrure agencies. Some of these documents include the Greater Suva Urban Growth Management Plan; the Taukei Lands Trust Board, Greater Suva Land Use Master Plan (2007) by land developers, i-taukei landowning units, property owners, and land developing agencies. The compound effects trigger the weak enforcement systems leading to illegal developments and activities and poor enforcement of building codes. Greater Suva Urban area also faces the following challenges: There are no professional town planners in the Greater Suva Urban councils, with the exception of Suva City which engages a consultant to carry out strategic physical planning and supervises development control, in compliance with the town planning schemes. Lack of qualified council staff.

Only Suva and Nausori have Town Planning Units. Nasinu is yet to establish its own. Development agencies place much emphasis on the creation of lots without giving much thought to strategic planning. Municipalities within Greater Suva pay scant regard to the strategies outlined in the Scheme Report, which are provided to deal with identified urban issues. There is also the lack of understanding and knowledge on how to implement the town Scheme. Councils have very little knowledge of the Greater Suva Urban Growth Management Plan (2006), even after the recent engagement of the Cities Development Initiative for Asia, which is in Fiji carrying out a pre-feasibility study on the capital needs of Greater Suva. There is little effort by the Greater Suva urban area authorities to improve human resource capacity of council staff and to enhance town planning knowledge and skills for the effective implementation of town planning schemes. Furthermore, there is little investment made in technology to improve efficiency and productivity at local council level. Contrary to suggestions for work attachments at the Department of Town and Country Planning, this opportunity has not been fully utilized.

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Greater Suva covers an extensive area of land comprising native or customary land, State and freehold land. The utilization of land in the area for urban development is directly influenced by factors such as terrain and non-favourable topography, which hike infrastructure costs and results in slow implementation of capital infrastructure programmes such as construction of transport, water and sewerage systems. The limited provision of infrastructure to accommodate development in the city has resulted in the delayed implementation of urban development programmes in Greater Suva. Customary landowners misunderstand and misinterpret the legal rights to development. This misinterpretation is worsened by the lack of knowledge of land use processes and laws. As a result, land is released for housing without going through the proper legal channels. This has led to the rise in illegal informal settlements and developments on customary land that lack access to basic urban services. These developments also affect the supply of basic urban services to the formal areas due to illegal connections to the service systems. The level of understanding, knowledge and skills of land development agencies on the land development process has also affected the manner in which land has been developed in the Greater Suva. There is a clear indication of limited professionals and underqualified and inexperienced personnel recruited by land agencies. There is also very little investment in capacity-building and institutional strengthening.

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The slow implementation of the five-year plan for the Suva-Nausori Water and Sewerage Master Plan is one of the main challenges Greater Suva and other urban centres in Fiji are facing. Old and undersized water pipes cannot contain the high demand for water supply in Greater Suva, resulting in frequent pipe bursts and, as a result, water shortages. This has been the experience of Lami and Delainavesi as well as the higher areas of Tamavua, Tacirua, and the upper Nasinu areas of Caubati to Makoi. There are new and proposed major developments already approved for Greater Suva: examples of this are the major subdivisions of Tacirua East Stage II, Nepani, Wainibuku, Sauniwaqa, Waila City, Koronivia; and the immediate peri-urban areas east of Nausori along Vuci Road. The area is also experiencing the increased growth of squatter settlements, especially in the Suva-Nausori corridor. These factors should be taken into account when implementing the master plan. In addition to the slow implementation of this plan, land developers display a lack of commitment to build their own sewerage treatment plant for major residential developments. They prefer to connect to the existing sewerage system, which can trigger an overload. For instance, Phase I of the Waila City - which will have a projected population of 3,000 - will still be connected to the Kinoya Sewerage Treatment Plant.

The Millennium subdivision in Nausori, a 400-lot subdivision, is not connected to the Nausori Sewerage Treatment Plant as is the Taukei Lands Trust Board. Instead, the subdivision uses a septic tank system of disposing sewerage. Nausori has a high water table which, in future, will be affected in terms of limited soakage capacity, thus increasing susceptibility to public health issues. The absence of a sewerage reticulation system limits site development potential. This forces property owners to pursue higher standards of sewerage management, for example on-site localized secondary or tertiary systems within individual lots. While costly, this has become the acceptable practice to aid development; for instance, multi-unit residential or major investments to be sited in the old subdivisions of Suva and Lami. However, there is need to build a proper sewerage reticulation system for Greater Suva in order to foster increased development of the urban area. HOUSING Over 51 per cent of Fijis urban population resides in Greater Suva. Recognizing the high cost of housing in Fiji, the Ministry of Local Government, Urban Development, Housing,

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and Environment has embarked on its programme of implementing the strategies of the National Housing Policy (2011). The major challenge of housing in Fiji, more specifically in Greater Suva, is the associated high costs of developing housing land, given the terrain. Land for housing is expensive and this has contributed to the increased growth of informal settlements. Limited sewerage reticulation services have limited the development of high-rise residential buildings and multi-unit residential or apartment housing. For instance, Toorak and growth areas on the periphery of the Central Business District have been subjected to conversions for commercial development, including offices rather than increasing housing stock. In Nasinu, there is increasing housing stock because most of the area is connected to sewerage systems and all new subdivisions require sewerage connections.

Lengthy administrative and procurement processes also play a role in the growth of informal settlements. Documentation and tender processes delay project implementation such that by the time project works begin, the settlement population has been doubled, leading to needed amendments and variation costs. There has been increasing interest by landowning units to engage in formal subdivision works, compared to previous practices of releasing land for housing under the vakavanua arrangements. Resettlement or relocation of squatters in the event of land to be developed for housing (for example. the Namara Settlement), is costly for the government. The situation is worsened by the slow delivery of squatter upgrading projects, resulting from limited professionals or qualified people to efficiently and effectively carry out the project to completion. There is also a slow acknowledgement by councils on partnership contribution to improve the urban environment. The slow implementation of infrastructure upgrading delays subdivision works; and the high cost of infrastructure affects cost of housing land, leading to increased density of settlements. Search for employment and better education opportunities are the major factors pushing rural dwellers to the urban areas. There are high resource skills in the squatter settlements for small business ventures but there are limited facilities or avenues to market their products.


High demand for housing has resulted in the increased growth of residential areas in Nasinu. This has resulted in more overcrowding and in increased demand for relaxation of development controls, in terms of reduction to yard clearances and illegal developments. This is evident in the Nasinu and Nausori town extension area of Nakasi and Davuilevu housing. A study has recorded that close to half the 200 settlements in Fiji are in Greater Suva. While the number of squatter settlements has stalled in Suva and Nasinu, there is an increase in the density of the existing settlements, for example Wailea in Suva, Caubati Central and Omkar in Nasinu.

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There has not been a major disaster in Greater Suva in the last 10 years, although Cyclone Ami had some impact in Nausori, causing many businesses to shift location in anticipation of major floods. The vulnerable areas are the squatter settlements along River Road in Narere, Nasinu as well as those along the coastal fringes and river banks like Tamavua River, Kalekana in Lami and Nanuku Settlement in Vatuwaqa. There is also great concern about the vulnerability of squatters in terms of urban health and lower or poor living conditions. Squatters are susceptible to fire and diseases such as the 2010 typhoid epidemic which swept through the Wailea and Jittu settlements, because they were near the sewer treatment plant for Suva. Evidence of impacts of climate change is not documented adequately and the small ratio of disaster to casualties contributes to little acknowledgement of the impact of climate change in the urban centres. This little information indirectly encourages local governments to make only slight efforts in formulating their own disaster reduction and management plans, leaving that task to the National Disaster Management Office which has become the central coordinating agency for disaster management in Fiji.



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GREATER SUVA URBAN PROFILE The Suva Urban Profiling consists of an accelerated, action-oriented assessment of urban conditions, focusing on priority needs, capacity gaps, and existing institutional responses at local and national levels. The purpose of the study is to develop urban poverty reduction policies at local, national, and regional levels, through an assessment of needs and response mechanisms, and as a contribution to the wider-ranging implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. The study is based on analysis of existing data and a series of interviews with all relevant urban stakeholders, including local communities and institutions, civil society, the private sector, development partners, academics, and others. The consultation typically results in a collective agreement on priorities and their development into proposed capacity-building and other projects that are all aimed at urban poverty reduction. The urban profiling is being implemented in 30 ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) countries, offering an opportunity for comparative regional analysis. Once completed, this series of studies will provide a framework for central and local authorities and urban actors, as well as donors and external support agencies.

HS Number: HS/081/12E ISBN Number (Series): 978-92-1-132023-7 ISBN Number (Volume): 978-92-1-132495-2


P.O Box 30030 - 00100, Nairobi, Kenya Tel: +254-20-7623120 Fax: +254-20-7623426/7 (Central Office)