NATION

Wainibuabua Settlement: Evicted Families Seek Help

Cawani Mere, a resident, said the court order had stated that they were to dismantle all their houses and a church by tomorrow.
04 Feb 2020 10:00
Wainibuabua Settlement: Evicted Families Seek Help
Tori Grey (sitting, right) with his family inside their partially demolished house at the Wainibuabua Settlement in Wainadoi on February 3, 2020. Photo: Inoke Rabonu

Emotions ran high when 11 families of Wainibuabua Settlement in Wainadoi between Lami and Navua were served with eviction notices yesterday.

Fifty people live at the settlement, some for 30 years.

Cawani Mere, a resident, said the court order had stated that they were to dismantle all their houses and a church by tomorrow.

She said there were 11 homes in the settlement and court officers were at the site demolishing the third house.

“There are about 50 people leaving in the settlement, the majority being children under the age of 13,” she said.

“We are actually helpless as we do not know of where to go to from here,” Ms Mere said.

“The only ones I am concerned about are our children. They are the innocent ones who will be affected emotionally, especially with their education.

“We would appreciate if there was enough notice instead of being abruptly told to move, at least to be able to work out where we can move to.

“The landowners could have also sought a place to at least move us to, where we could stay temporarily.”

The court order noted that Jarad Holdings Limited was the new owner of the land and that they had plans to develop the site in a few weeks time.

The previous owner is a Puspa Wati. No comments could be obtained from the new landowner.

Ms Mere said children at the settlement missed school yesterday because they had to help remove their belongings and property.

“All our belongings are out in the sun and we are hoping it does not rain,” Ms Mere said.

“We are still yet to sit down with other households to talk about where we can move to from here.”

Tori Grey, 70, who had lived in the settlement nearly all his life said he was emotional to leave the place where he had a lot of memories.

“It is a sad day for us,” Mr Grey said.

“We request Government and relevant authorities to help us identify a piece of land to build our homes on.”

Edited by Percy Kean

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