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Cyclone Season Concerns Villagers In The North

Cyclone Season Concerns  Villagers In The North
Representatives from various villages of Taveuni Island during the participatory evaluation workshop organised by Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding at the Friendly North Inn in Labasa yesterday. Photo:SHRATIKA NAIDU
November 04
11:00 2016

Villagers in the Northern division fear for their lives with the new cyclone season which began on November 1.

“We are already in cyclone season and still many people do not have a proper shelter,” said village headman of Dreketi village in Qamea, Jeremaia Niumataiwalu.

“Whenever there is a strong wind or heavy rain, people fear and run either to Laucala District School, church or community hall.

“People are still trying to overcome the trauma left by TC Winston.”

Mr Niumataiwalu was speaking on Wednesday during a participatory evaluation workshop organised by the Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding at the Friendly North Inn in Labasa.

Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding communication officer Grace Fox told representatives at the workshop that the organisers had made arrangements with Government officials from various departments to hear about their concerns and suggested ways in which they could help.

Government officials will meet the workshop participants today.

Assistant Roko of Vuna Village, south of Taveuni Island, Iosefo Tabualevu said out of the 130 houses in his village, 72 per cent or 94 houses were completely destroyed and 16 were partially damaged.

“There are about 460 people in my village and they are struggling to make ends meet while some are depressed waiting for so many months to receive building materials from the Government,” Mr Tabualevu said.

“Just imagine how life can be for a family who do not have a proper shelter for so many months.”

Mr Niumataiwalu said the village of Vuna used to have 61 houses with 211 people before Cyclone Winston.

“Three houses were completely destroyed and 15 partially damaged,” he said.

“We are still waiting for housing assistance from the Government.”

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

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