NEWS

More Than Half Of Dreketi Villagers Move Out

More than half the villagers in Dreketi on Qamea Island have started to relocate to other settlements after the destructive landslide on Sunday. Thirteen homes were destroyed, six were partially
20 Dec 2016 13:24
More Than Half Of Dreketi Villagers Move Out
The Dreketi Health Centre after the landslide. Photo: Josaia Ralago

More than half the villagers in Dreketi on Qamea Island have started to relocate to other settlements after the destructive landslide on Sunday.

Thirteen homes were destroyed, six were partially damaged while 33 were unaffected.

Only 12 of these households are occupied now.

“Dreketi, no more,” said Jone Turaga a Dreketi villager, as he stood in front of his ruined home yesterday.

He said he would not be rebuilding his home in the village but would rather move to Labasa.

“This is risky. We are scared and what happened yesterday might just happen again,” Mr Turaga said.

The father of one was sleeping in their two-bedroom home with his wife and son when the incident occurred.

“We got a shock when we heard a loud thump in our living room in the morning.

“We ran out of the room to find the side of the house crumpled. In our escape, we broke a door and were barely outside when our whole house collapsed,” Mr Turaga said.

And with 90 other villagers, they moved to Natakala, a nearby community, on the same day the incident occurred.

“We should relocate and as for me and my family, we will be moving to Labasa next year,” Mr Turaga said.

When Fiji Sun visited the Dreketi villagers at Natakala, they all said the same thing: “We are scared to move back.”

The villagers who fled to Natakala were occupying two houses and relying heavily on aid from communities and resorts nearby for food as their farms were destroyed as well.

Qamea Situation Report issued by the Commissioner Northern Office yesterday:

  • Dreketi Village
    a) Totally destroyed houses– 13
    b) Partly damaged houses – 6
    c) Houses not affected – 33
    d) Community Hall – 1 (Totally destroyed and displaced)
  • Health Centre :

a. Quarters Totally Destroyed – 3
b. Main Health Centre Building – 1

School :
Totally destroyed – 1x 4 classroom, two teachers quarters
Partly destroyed – 2 teachers quarters

Water Source
– Totally destroyed.

Agriculture
– Totally destroyed.

Naivivi Village
a) Completely destroyed houses – 2
Kocoma Village (Flooding)

Togo Village
a)Completely destroyed houses – 2

Recommendation
– Due to rough seas and very bad weather condition in Qamea, it is highly recommended for a Government vessel to be provided to facilitate the necessary assistance required and provide sectorial damage assessment to the three severely affected areas; Dreketi Village, Naivivi Village and Togo Village. The usage of fibre boats are very risky considering the adverse weather conditions.

– Due to the nature of the damage sustained, we strongly recommend to declare Dreketi Village as a Disaster Area.

– Disaster area ‘means an area of the Fiji Islands in respect of which a natural disaster has been declared under section 17;

– The other two villages will be assessed to determine the magnitude of assistance required.
Source: Commissioner Northern’s Office

Edited by Maraia Vula

Feedback:  josaia@fijisun.com.fj

 

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