Villagers Pool Resources To Rebuild After Cyclone Yasa

Through a virtual meeting with our relatives living abroad in England, Australia, Samoa for monetary donation towards the Naividamu Self-Help Rehabilitation was created.
26 Mar 2021 15:17
Villagers Pool Resources To Rebuild After Cyclone Yasa
Seaqaqa District Officer Aminiasi Niumataiwalu (standing, left) and Assistant Roko Tui Macuata Epeli Tabuarua (standing, second from right), after having a discussion with the initiators of the Naividamu Self Help Rehabilitation initiators at the Commissioner Northern’s office on March 25, 2021. Photo: Laisa Lui

Villagers of Naividamu in the Macuata Province are showing how a community effort can help them recover quickly after natural disasters.

Naividamu was one of the villages in the North that was hit hard during Tropical Cyclone Yasa last year.

The Naividamu Self-Help Rehabilitation is aimed at pooling assistance and help, not from Government, but from their own people here and abroad and donors.

Additionally, natural resources, like the trees, under the village’s land ownership, would be used to build some structures.

Rehabilitation project officer, Pita Ramasima, is a former Republic of Fiji Military Forces personnel who spearheading the rehabilitation at the village.

“There were a total of 26 houses that were partly damaged or completely destroyed by Cyclone Yasa,” Mr Ramasima said.

“We had a discussion with the village headman and the district representative as to how those in the urban areas and overseas can help.”


How they work

Mr Ramasima said: “Through a virtual meeting with our relatives living abroad in England, Australia, Samoa  for monetary donation towards the Naividamu Self-Help Rehabilitation was created.”

He requested the head of the village clan to authorise giving the trees that were damaged during the cyclone to rebuild part of the church and the deacon’s home.

He recruited the villagers and allocate them into teams for rotational work basis.

The youths were also brought onboard for the rehabilitation process.

“One team was the woodcutter because there were some who had the licence,” he said.

“The second team include those who were unskilled – their job was to carry the log from the site to the house that was going to be built.

“The third team were carpenters while the fourth team was to focus on the farm and plant vegetables and crops for everyone.

“After one week, the team rotates except for the carpenters because of their skilled job.”

So far, 75 per cent of the rebuilding efforts has been done.

“The Office of the Commissioner Northern, district office and provincial office have all witnessed out rehabilitation programme,” he said.

“I kept reminding the people of Naividamu to do our best in taking the initiative in the rehabilitation programme instead of fully relying on the Government, they will do their part.

“We have to use the resources that are around us.”

The former RFMF engineer of 26 years said the houses had been build back to better standards suited for a Category Five Cyclone, using strappings, right nail, bolt

Assistant Roko Tui Macuata Epeli Tabuarua said he was grateful to see the success of the rehabilitation project at Naividamu.

“We are now working  and discussing with other village headmen from the 15 villages to take on these rehabilitation project model,” he said.

Meanwhile, the villagers have repaired 11 damaged homes and are working on rebuilding the three completely destroyed homes.



Advertise with us

Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.

By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.