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Dreketi Villagers Eye New Village Site

Dreketi Villagers on Qamea Island are looking at a location for their new Village site after they were hit with two major disasters in a year. This was the comment
21 Dec 2016 10:45
Dreketi Villagers Eye New Village Site

Dreketi Villagers on Qamea Island are looking at a location for their new Village site after they were hit with two major disasters in a year.

This was the comment from the village headman Jeremaia Niumataiwalu who said they had to relocate because the current site was becoming a risk for the villagers.

“While relocation has become a major issue of discussion now, we are eyeing a new village site as people are hesitant to rebuild their lives here again,” he said.

“This new place is further up ahead from the current location called Vunidrala. It has a stable water source and there is no hill in the back ground so it minimises the risks of a landslide.”

Mr Niumataiwalu said the recent landslide on Monday had left physical and emotional scars for the villagers.

“They are scared, they all are.

“While only some homes were destroyed, all the villagers are affected,” he said.

“Tropical Cyclone Winston had hit us badly in February this year and just 10 months on when we are still trying to pick up the pieces of our lives, we are faced with another one.”

Kesaia Lolou, 64, who fled to Natakala settlement said: “We need to relocate because we are not going back there, it is a death-wish.

“In my opinion, this landslide is so much worse compared to the damages done by Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“Some are still trying to rebuild their homes when this hit.

“We have to relocate because we just cannot go back.”

Meanwhile, two homes in a settlement close to Dreketi Village on Qamea Island are currently housing 91 villagers.

David McComber, one of the people of Natakala said: “They are here and we are providing them with accommodation. We are here to help because what happened was really sad and we are here to help.”

He said the villagers will be kept at the village for as long as they needed shelter.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Education, Mahendra Reddy, has assured that the students at Dreketi Village would have normal classes next year.

Mr Reddy said: “We wish to assure the people of Dreketi village in Qamea that we will provide temporary classrooms and resources to ensure that classes resume as per our Education calendar year.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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