NEWS

Relocation Best Option: Villager

“My house is one of the 14 that have been submerged in water. The flood water rose so fast so we couldn’t save anything, especially when the electricity was off,” Mr Naova said.
11 Jan 2022 12:18
Relocation Best Option: Villager
Wailotua 1 Village in Tailevu under water on 10 January’s 2022. This after the Wainibuka River burst its bank at the height of Tropical Cyclone Cody. Photo: Leon Lord

Relocation seems to be the logical option for villagers of flood prone Wailotua I, Wainibuka in Tailevu Province.

After decades of witnessing their village and homes inundated with flood waters whenever there are heavy periods of rain villagers are optimistic that days of running to evacuation centres for shelter will soon be over.

They hope one day they will be able to shift to another location to end the heartache they feel each time they look inside their homes after flood waters have receded.

Sikeli Naova, 46, said it was about time they as a community shifted to higher grounds.

“My house is one of the 14 that have been submerged in water. The flood water rose so fast so we couldn’t save anything, especially when the electricity was off,” Mr Naova said.

“There are plans to shift to higher grounds, but we need help in preparing the foundation. It will not be easy. We really need some assistance in relocation.

“I am thankful that the youths of the village were able to take the old women and men to higher grounds when they saw that the rain did not stop when it was still daylight.

“When the flood water goes down, we will have a lot of cleaning to do. Our homes are now deteriorating because of the many times it has been affected by the floodwaters.

The village headman hoped that food assistance would be rendered to them by the Government.

“All the plantations have been destroyed and we have very little food. We would be grateful if food ration can be provided to families here,” he said.

“In the 1990’s there were talks of the village shifting to the other side but the landowners did not agree and there is nothing that can be done but to clean our homes after every flooding.

“We can’t shift to the hill side above the village because it is made of soft stones. We hope that someone will come up with a plan so that the villagers can stop suffering.

“We hope the pleas of the villagers can be heard so that our children will not suffer the same fate we are suffering now. It is about time something is done about it.”

There are more than 30 homes and more than 200 villagers at Wailotua I.

Feedbackwati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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