NATION

Disabled Villagers Assisted With Better Facilities

A new lease of life has been given to three villagers who had their disabilities eased. This was possible through the World Wildlife Fund-Pacif ic’s Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in
02 May 2017 11:00
Disabled Villagers Assisted With Better Facilities
The Three villagers with disabilty who have been assisted sitting with wheelchair with the villages of Natutu Village in Ba. PHOTO:LITIA TIKOMAILEPANONI

A new lease of life has been given to three villagers who had their disabilities eased.

This was possible through the World Wildlife Fund-Pacif ic’s Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in partnership with Habitat for Humanity retrofit in Natutu, Nailaga in Ba last week.

The three homes have access to toilet and bathroom amenities.

53-year-old Eroni Kacia who had his left leg was amputated in 2013 because of his diabetic condition said that a big burden was been lifted off his shoulder.

“Everything changed when they cut of my leg; I had to start all over again,” he said.

“Having to use the toilet was tough at times especially at night, as we had pit toilets and it was far from my house but now it’s just beside my house and it’s a big relief.”

Mr Kacia acknowledged the initiative made to the villages, as this had given him hope to ease the life of his family.

Mereani Galo who has been looking after her 83-year-old aunty Ilisapeci Vue also shared the same sentiments.

“My aunty has been blind and disabled in the last four years, so this has helped ease things for me,” Ms Galo said.

“Now she can take herself to the washroom.”

Acting  Director National Disaster Management Office Sunia Ratulevu said, “The launch of the completion and opening of the village’s disability friendly facilities is of significant importance as it is imperative as when building for safer homes also include the most vulnerable.

“This project is looking at disaster preparedness and management. In doing so, increase the resilience of communities and natural systems, to disasters-storms, floods, earthquakes and droughts.”

Over the past few months, WWF Pacific has been working with Habitat for Humanity, here in Natutu, to retrofit the homes of people living with disabilities with accessible toilet and bathroom amenities.

“Access to the village evacuation centre (village hall) and its toilet facilities were also modified to be safely accessible and disability friendly.”

WWF-Pacific Climate Change Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Officer Sanivalati Tubuna said this was the first kind of project and picked the community of their nature.

“We are looking at shelter security as a means to build resilience of the community specifically people living with disability and having facility that are accessible to those living disability,” he said.

The project was funded by Australian government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Programme (ANCP) and born out of WWF-Pacific’s relief assistance to the communities that were affected by TC Winston last year.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  litia.tikomailepani@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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