Koroipita Model Town

Registered Charitable Trust in FIJI No. 908 – 2011

The Trust is a non-governmental organisation committed to building engineered and serviced, subdivisions and cyclone-safe houses, and providing guidance and support for the advancement of poor families by way of a holistic and dynamic community development programme.

The project was founded by Peter Drysdale in 1985.  Prior to registration of the MTCT, the project had been operating as the Fiji Rotahomes Project under the Rotary Club of Lautoka.

Where It All Began – Fiji Rotahomes Project
In March 1985, cyclones Eric and Nigel battered the western parts of Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu.  Thousands were left homeless in the Lautoka and Ba areas.

Peter had just joined the Rotary Club of Lautoka and he formed the Fiji Rotahomes Project with the objective “to eliminate sub-human living conditions in west Viti Levu by providing basic cyclone-safe homes, clean water and living essentials.”

The search began for families in need, covering an area of 4000 sq km.  Over the past 33 years, 738 homes were built in the country areas.

In 2002, the focus of the project shifted to the growing number of families living as squatters or in improvised slum conditions in the peri-urban areas surrounding Lautoka city.

This led to the development of an engineered and serviced subdivision, 3km from Lautoka.  It was named Koroipita, which means “Peter’s Village”.  Land was provided on a 99 year lease term by the landowners of Vitogo Village.

The town is a fully serviced subdivision with wide road access, clean water supply, electricity, sewerage treatment, storm water drains and a garbage collection system.

Stage one (K1) of the development was accomplished by 2008 and was mostly funded by Rotary Clubs in this region.  This comprises 84 homes and six communal buildings including a kindy, office, shop and computer school and library.

The seven year Stages 2, 3 development commenced in 2011 with support from the New Zealand Aid Programme, Rotary International, European Union, the Fiji Government and a host of donors and volunteers.  This increased the estate to 241 homes.

Plans have been presented to increase the housing stock to 386 homes.  The population would then increase from the present 1,100 to 1740 residents.

Koroipita is the first of what could potentially be a series of “model” communities in Fiji to address the problems of squatter settlements in per-urban areas, manage urban drift and accommodate and assimilate climate change refugees.

The legal and management and community development systems are being refined and documented as a prescription, for easy replication.