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Fijians Show Resilience In The Face Of Nature’s Wrath

Fijians Show Resilience In The Face Of Nature’s Wrath
April 04
10:19 2018

Resilience – The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

The Oxford Dictionary spells out the meaning in its simplest forms.

The people of the Western Division, no doubt, have that inbuilt in their system, if you look back at all the cyclones and floods that have tormented the westerners over decades.

The devastation caused by the recent rains brought about by Tropical Cyclone Josie tells of the wrath of Mother Nature and the enormous force that is generated during floods.

While resilience is now part of the people, one thing that stood out while visiting the flood stricken Ba area was the way many residents and communities did not wait for help.

Take for instance the group of farmers in Tuvu who have one bridge that is the only thoroughfare for many cane farmers.

The famers got together and brought stones from the flooded river to patch up the approach to one side of the bridge. A few feet away, mothers brought their washing to the river and did not wait for water to be restored.

Yalalevu in Ba was reminiscent of a war zone. Almost every home in Yalalevu was inundated with floodwaters that left sludge behind furniture, beddings soaked and fences bowing over to the strength of the floodwaters.

With no water in the taps, families were seen taking buckets to small streams or drains to fetch water for cleaning.

The notable standout scene amidst all this was the smile on the people’s faces. It told of their resilience and something that has become a part of their daily lives.

During an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s PM radio segment on March 4, 2016, following Tropical Cyclone Winston, ABC reporter Phil Williams, while interviewing Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama asked: “Prime Minister, shocking pictures that have tugged at the heart strings of Australians, of course. How is Fiji coping with this incredible crisis?

Mr Bainimarama replied: “Well, you know, in the character of Fijians have come out in the last couple of days, the resilience. You can see people still smiling even though they have come through the harshest of times in the last few days.”

Through all the flood devastation that was what the people of Ba displayed – resilience – and getting on with their lives even before Government help arrived.

It showed that the people have come to understand that this Government was going to be there to help them so while they waited, they did whatever they could.

No one complained. Everywhere where help was needed, one could see neighbours and friends joining in to lend a hand.

Then there was this group travelling around in a four-wheel drive vehicle handing out food rations to people whose homes were flooded. Then there was a family who were travelling around in their car giving meals.

It showed the true character of the Fijian people in looking out for the other person and sharing what little they have.

In a way, the disasters that have hit Fiji has also instilled something extraordinary in the people – leaving differences aside and helping those in need.

Mr Bainimarama was out and about a day after the floods and visited many places, seeing for himself the devastation.

For the people, it was the sight of the PM being there, sharing in their sorrows and comforting those who lost loved ones, and giving them that reassurance.

There were no political speeches but the mere sight of him being there was enough for the people to know that the Government would help them back on their feet.

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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