NATION

Districts Praise Government Despite Delay In Rehab Help

Thirteen district island representatives (matanitikina) converged at the chiefly village of Tubou on Lakeba Island to attend the first village by-law consultations in the Lau Group. While 11 district representatives
23 Mar 2017 14:22
Districts Praise Government Despite Delay In Rehab Help
District reps from Vanuabalavu Inoke Dakuna (front, left), and Laveti Saurara (front, right), with other district reps from the Lau Group. Photo: Jone Luvenitoga

Thirteen district island representatives (matanitikina) converged at the chiefly village of Tubou on Lakeba Island to attend the first village by-law consultations in the Lau Group.

While 11 district representatives were focused on the village by-law consultations, two others used the meeting as a platform to acknowledge rehabilitation works after Tropical Cyclone Winston.

The district reps of Mualevu and Lomaloma thanked Government and the government of New Zealand for the rehabilitating assistance to their island which was still struggling with problems brought on by Winston.

Even though their attendance at Tubou Village was meant for the consultation process, the ruins back at their districts was a voice too loud to shut away anymore, they said.

The rate of rehabilitation at their island home of Vanuabalavu, they said, was an issue that stalled progress which Government needed to hear about.

“Our gratitude goes out to the two governments, New Zealand and Fiji for the rehabilitation process taking place right now at our two districts, Lomaloma and Mualevu districts,” Laveti Saurara, of Lomaloma District said.

Inoke Dakuna of Mualevu district said the rebuilding of homes were progressing.

However, the delay in different arrival times of housing materials was a challenge.

Their stories were similar to those who were still faced with incomplete housing materials arriving in parts and on different occasions – some without name tags to identify to whom it belonged to.

“People are more confused and frustrated not knowing what to take home to start rebuilding,” he said.

Bags of concrete powder, he said, were ruined where they had been stacked since it arrived at Lomaloma Jetty because people did not know where to stock them.

Seventeen villages within the island of Vanuabalavu fell victim to the destructive path of TC Winston.

Four primary schools and a secondary school on the island were also damaged.

Among the assessment reports produced, 40 people from the two districts still live in tents today, while the others were fighting back with anything they could salvage to construct their homes.

From the ruins and hardships faced by their children attending make-do classrooms today, the two district reps were grateful for the quick response in the rebuilding of the school.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback: jone.luvenitoga@fijisun.com.fj

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