Triple Blow For Northern Family

Husband lost job to pandemic, home lost roof to cyclone and nephew fights for his life in hospital after being hit by vehicle
25 Dec 2020 10:29
Triple Blow For Northern Family
Jotivini Vuanilotu inside her damaged house at Naqai Village, Labasa on December 24, 2020. Photo: Shratika Naidu

A family of 11 will not celebrate Christmas today as they had suffered from a triple blow this year.

Jotivini Vuanilotu of Naqai Village in Labasa was in tears when she sat down yesterday to dry wet clothes in her living room which is currently without a roof.

On Wednesday afternoon her 10-year-old nephew Mitieli Sovita was hit by a private vehicle and is currently fighting to survive in hospital.

Last Thursday Tropical Cyclone Yasa damaged her two-bedroom house.

The roof over her living room and kitchen was blown off by the wind and all the items and appliances got soaked.

A few months before, her husband, a mechanic, lost his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mother of five children sat down for a long cry as she began to tell the story of her family’s struggles.

“My husband fixed some machines in the village and he gave me money for Christmas shopping on Wednesday midday,” Mrs Vuanilotu said.

“I left the house in a taxi and dropped off Mitieli and his friend opposite Nacula Supermarket, which is a few minutes walking distance from home.

“He wanted to buy ice-block so I gave him money and left for Labasa Town in the taxi.”

The 46-year-old said the taxi driver told her after a few minutes that the boy she dropped off was hit by a private car.

“We quickly drove back and were told by the pedestrians that the driver who bumped Mitieli took him to hospital,” she said.

“I rushed to the hospital and found him with a major head injury. My heart cried out loud.”

She said after Mitieli’s mother remarried, she had been looking after him since he was six years old.

“Mitieli’s mother is about to deliver a baby and when she heard about the accident she left her home in Kubulau, Bua to be with him,” she said.

“I don’t know what is happening to our family. We are praying for Mitieli’s speedy recovery, we hope for a safe delivery for his mother. We’re pleading for housing materials and food.”

She said this would be the worst Christmas for them.

Meanwhile, Divisional Police Commander Northern Senior Superintendent of Police Eparama Waqa confirmed that Police are investigating this incident.

Mitieli was airlifted yesterday to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce


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