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Vutikalulu Centre
Vutikalulu Centre
Last updated:
Waibau, Naitasiri, FJ
Climate zone:
Wet Tropical

Alanna Steinke Austin  Bowden-Kerby
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Vutikalulu Centre

Project Type

Rural, Demonstration, Educational

Project Summary

Vutikalulu Centre is 300 acre site that has undergone development to become a permaculture demonstration site, and in the future hold educational internships.

Project Description

History of Vutikalulu Center: Vutikalulu was the founder of modern Day Naitasiri. He was the son of Savou, the first Qaranivalu or High Chief of Naitasiri. Vutikalulu and savou brought their people down from the ancient hill settlements of Nakauvadra in Northern Viti Levu in search of lower lying more fertile land to farm with their family. Their people settled in Navuso on the Rewa River and in the fertile inland valleys of Naitasiri. Several generations later, Vutikalulu's great great grandson Fereti Dewa was inspired to further his grandfather's dream. He realized that much of the good husbandry of his fathers and grandfathers day was being lost due to the modern development of cities, and loss of traditional farming. The land is now being robbed of it's natural fertility, and creating invaluable consequences for people in the rural areas. Fereti and his wife Julie have vowed to raise the money to build a demonstration center in Waibau, Fiji. The mission is to enable locals to develop their way out of poverty through creating a sustainable livelihood, and allow for villages to become resilient through self-sufficiency. The past four years Fereti and his wife have lost a substantial amount of support from the government, and local organizations. Many projects have been initiated for the center, but have failed due to weather extremes, or lack of support and funding. The volunteers that have come through have attempted in constructing a bio-gas digester, bamboo toilet block, and pig shed. The concept is that the pig shed, and bamboo toilet block will feed the digester. These appear to be appropriate arrangements for the site due to Fiji's contention with sanitary waste management, a bio-gas digester would provide an ideal example for efficient management of waste. Unfortunately the bio-gas digester was left unfinished, and is now over grown with grasses and shrubs. The bamboo toilet block was nearly completed until last years cylcone dismantled the frame. For the last year Vutikalulu Center has Vutikalulu Center & permaculture: Despite Fereti and Julies hindrance, they are still committed to develop Vutikalulu Center for Sustainable Technology and Rural Development. They were just in need of a model for developing the site successfully, to ensure that it provides as an effective example for the surrounding villages. Upon my arrival to Vutikalulu Center I was immediately inclined to implement a permaculture education/demonstration site. With limited resources, and lack of funding I felt there to be no better method for development than that which has proven it self to be successful in even the most remote of places. I proposed to Fereti, and his wife Julie a design plan for implementing a permaculture education and demonstration site. As this would assist them in achieving their mission to empower locals in being able to live sustainably, and create resilient communities. My design proposal has a focus on the reforesting, and naturalization of the region. While at the same time has promise to achieve self sufficiency in dietary requirements for all students, and volunteers on site. Permaculture as a method of design, will assist locals in being able to yield all provisional needs. Resulting not just in the preservation of the environment, but In the regeneration of traditional fijian culture. The people of Fiji believe that if you are living by means of subsistence, then you are "poor". They no longer see the wealth in providing all essential needs from the abundant land which they are so blessed to have. As with most developing countries in the world today. Farming is practiced more as a stepping stone to make way to the city. People will yield as much of one crop as they possibly can hoping to profit, and save for a life in the city. Rather than exploiting the earth's resources for monetary wealth, and material goods like the majority of the world has. It is my hope that with introducing the people of Fiji to permaculture that they will be inspired to live a more traditional way life, and that this way of life is no longer seen as a "poor mans life" but as a life of wealth, and abundance.


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Rural Demonstration Educational
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