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RELOCATION: $765k Tukuraki Village Relocated At Yakete

RELOCATION: $765k Tukuraki Village Relocated At Yakete
October 27
11:22 2017

Gone are the days when the only place that the villagers of Tukuraki, in Ba, run to for safety were the caves on the mountains.

The villgers now have a village to call home again following the 2012 landslide which left many of the villagers uncertain.

The natural disaster had claimed the lives of a family of four.

The deceased were husband, Anare Taliga, 38; wife, Mereoni Robe, 23; and their two children Losena Nai who was 18-months-old and Makelesi Matalau who was 6-months-old.

They were asleep when the deadly landslide happened.

But after five years, a new lease of life has finally been born for the villagers who survived the ordeal.

A relocation ceremony, a plaque inscribing the deceased’ names were unveiled.

Tukuraki village now relocated at Yakete is the first non-coastal community to be relocated.

The ceremony marked a new beginning for the villagers of Tukuraki, one of the five villages of the tikina (district) of Nalotawa.

The other four villages are Nalotawa, Navilawa, Nanuku and Yaloku.

The late Mr Taliga’s older brother, Jolame Sokia, yesterday relived the moment he was informed of the landslide and with tears in his eyes talked about the tragedy and how much he still missed his brother and his family.

“If only he was alive to see where we are today. That we had moved our families. We had left behind everything and have relocated in the mountains,” Mr Sokia said.

New homes

The families moved into their new 11 two-bedroom houses which included a community hall that doubles as an evacuation centre, complete with a bathroom and toilet.

The new location was officially opened by the Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, National Disaster Management and Meteorological Services Inia Seruiratu.

Mr Seruiratu acknowledged partners in the relocation of the village.

$765,000 was funded by the European Union. The Pacific Community was the implementing agency through the ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project (BSRP) programme.

“The houses are strengthened and stronger and can withstand Category 5 cyclones, the environment is secure in terms of waterways and water management, retaining walls are constructed and members of the Tukuraki community have undergone training and awareness in terms of capacity building,” Mr Seruiratu said.

The Minister confirmed that the Tukuraki story would be one of the success stories the delegation to COP23 would be talking about in Germany next month.

“The relocation of Tukuraki is a fine example of the adverse impacts of climate change on a community,” he said.

“It is also a fine example of being resilient.

“We are not weakened by the drastic impacts but we chose, together with our development partners, to help them get back on their feet and move on with life.”

Water issues in Western division

Meanwhile, Government is already doing all it can to help those without water in the Western division.

However, it will step up efforts as they saw the need arise, said Commissioner Western Manasa Tagicakibau.

“Right now our priorities are schools, hospitals and family consumption. We are asking people to please stop using the already scarce supply for gardens and washing cars and other things that can go without for the time being,” Mr Tagicakibau said.

“We have been holding talks with the Meteorological Department and the other stakeholders and working out ways to assist the people bear with the current drought.

“It looks like it’s going to carry on for a while and so we are urging people to use water wisely, conserve as much as you can.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  lusiana.banuve@fijisun.com.fj

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