Labasa, Fiji

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Labasa (pronounced [lamˈbasa]) is a town in Fiji with a population of 27,949 at the most recent census held in 2007.

Labasa is located in Macuata Province, in the north-eastern part of the island of Vanua Levu, and is the largest town on the island. The town itself is located on a delta formed by three rivers – the Wailevu, the Labasa (after which the town is named), and the Qawa. The latter two are connected by an 8-kilometre canal. The main street of Labasa prides itself for having the first set of traffic lights in the entire island.

Economic activities[edit]

The surrounding areas of Labasa are mostly farming areas, which contribute to much of the industry in the town. The largest crop grown is sugar cane. The large Fiji Sugar Corporation sugar mill in Labasa town is the only such mill on the island.

Recently, due to political changes and loss of overseas markets, sugar cane farming and production has been steadily decreasing. This has been reflected in the increasing migration of people to the main island of Viti Levu, in search of employment opportunities.

Labasa Hospital is the referral center for all health centers and hospital on the island of Vanua Levu, and has recently been expanded.

Labasa is generally an agricultural town, off the tourist track. Labasa now has a couple of good hotels to stay in (Takia/Travel Lodge and Grand Eastern Hotel). There is at least one good movie theatre and several good restaurants in the main street providing a range of local and Chinese flavours.

There is a fairly large market towards the end of the town where one can buy and sample a range of foods, spices, fish, poultry, goats and other local products. A large taxi stand and a bus stop is also by the market.

It also has some popular tourist spots while the people of Labasa are quite well known for their hospitality.[citation needed]

The Labasa soccer team is known as the "Babasiga Lions".

Government[edit]

Incorporated as a town in 1939, Labasa is governed by a 12-member town council, whose members elect a Mayor from among themselves. Councillors serve three-year terms; the Mayor's term is for one year, but may be extended any number of times. Labasa's current Mayor, elected on 28 October 2005 following the municipal election to the town council one week earlier, is Dr Pradeep Singh of the Fiji Labour Party (FLP). Leslie Williams was chosen as his deputy, but was replaced by Shivlal Nagindas on 30 October 2006.[citation needed]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 16°26′S 179°22′E / 16.433°S 179.367°E / -16.433; 179.367