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EDITORIAL : Helping Victims, Part Of United Stand To Respond To Disaster

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have suffered and lost loved ones during this wet season. It’s a major blow just days away from Christmas. We know
20 Dec 2016 11:00
EDITORIAL : Helping Victims, Part Of United Stand To Respond To Disaster

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have suffered and lost loved ones during this wet season.

It’s a major blow just days away from Christmas. We know that those close to them have reached out and Government agencies have helped to  ensure they are safe and their basic needs are taken care of.

The villagers of Qamea are counting the losses after they were struck by a series if landslides triggered by persistent rain.

There could be more landslides elsewhere as rain continues. Then there are those in evacuation centres who have been forced to leave their homes because of floodwaters.

As river and stream levels rise, especially during high tide, as a result of the continuing rain, people living in vulnerable areas need to move to safer grounds and evacuation centres.

They must, as a matter of necessity, listen to the weather bulletins, and take the warning and advice seriously.

The threat of landslides is real and it could still yet affect some people living at the base of slopes or hills.

The Qamea, Suva, Verata (Tailevu) and Naitasiri landslides and others were indicative of the serious threat to structures and people.

In this festive season, it’s unfortunate that we are being affected by  adverse weather when we should be celebrating.

We can, however, convert this celebratory energy, into service and compassion, which we do normally at this time of the year in the exchange of gifts.

Opportunities for service and to show compassion, will spring up in flood and landslide-stricken areas. It would be in line with the Christmas spirit if people unaffected by the weather and in a position to do so, are able to reach out and give those affected something that will cheer them up.

Such acts of kindness demonstrate the real spirit of Christmas – sharing and caring for others in need.

They give the providers a sense of happiness and empowerment knowing that they are fulfilling the instructions of Him whose birth we commemorate.

They also empower the recipients of the acts of love and compassion.

The knowledge that their fellow citizens do care for them will help uplift them from their grief and strife. It will strengthen and motivate them to bounce back and rebuild their lives.

We are all in this together.

We have been reminded that we are in the cyclone season and we are going to be hit by some wild weather patterns.

Tropical Depression 04F might not have destructive winds like Cyclone Winston. But it dumped a lot of rain here. Some, like those on Qamea Island, have been hit severely by landslides.

The next visit by a new weather system could affect those who escaped TD04F.

Helping one another recover from a natural disaster has been the hallmark of our response to such disaster. It has built our resilience to these weather events.

But it also reminds us of the real impact of climate change. It is a reality that faces all of us. We are going to see wild weather patterns, some could develop into cyclones. Hopefully, we are not going to face another Cyclone Winston.

But we can all stand together in a spirit of national unity and help one another wherever we can to weather the storms.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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