NATION

Family Finds New Shelter At Relative’s Place After Eviction

Asaeli Valemai, 56, was among more than 10 households who had their homes dismantled last week. Him, his wife and grandchildren have all moved to Sawani.
18 Dec 2019 19:39
Family Finds New Shelter At Relative’s Place After Eviction
From left: Fred Tenor, David Valemai, Asaeli Valemai and Joeli Tenor at Sawani, Nausori on December 17, 2019. Photo: Shreeya Verma

A resident of Tamavua-i-Wai has had to sought shelter at his son’s place in Sawani, Nausori after they were evicted by the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church.

Asaeli Valemai, 56, was among more than 10 households who had their homes dismantled last week. Him, his wife and grandchildren have all moved to Sawani.

Mr Valemai said he was fortunate to have shelter after his house was halfway dismantled.

“My family and I have been staying in Tamavua-i-Wai for five years,” he said.

“My main concern is my grandchildren to have a shelter.”

Mr Valemai said he felt sorry for the children, but could not do anything as the matter was in the hands of the church and the court.

“We do not know why the church wants to dismantle houses,” he said.

Mr Valemai and his family attended the SDA church in Tamavua-i-Wai, and although they respected the church procedures, they still grieved for the homeless.

“We cannot take the law into our own hands, but I am curious to know the reason for these evictions,” he said.

He said the Government should at least show some support to the families who had no place to go to.

“Most of them have no families based in Fiji or came to stay in the settlement either to work or have an easy and burdened free life. My prayers are always there with those who seek assistance and I feel the Government should help as much as they can.”

The church, in a statement last week said the eviction is still in process and families were notified well in advance.

Meanwhile, Minister for Housing and Local Government, Premila Kumar said: “People need to know the law before building their homes.

“People cannot simply build homes on vacant pieces of land.”

Ms Kumar said people needed to find out who the land belonged to and get proper land titles before building a house in order to avoid such issues.

“I urge families who are building their homes to simply follow the law.”

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

Feedback: shreeya.verma@fijisun.com.fj



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