NATION

New House For Cikobia Islanders Visiting Labasa

Over the years, Ms Qio had assisted 36 women who have also come from as far as Taveuni and Wainunu, Bua.
15 Nov 2021 12:18
New House For Cikobia Islanders Visiting Labasa
79-year old Merelesita Qio.

For years, whenever pregnant women from Cikobia Island in Macuata visited Labasa, they would often have a place to stay. This is thanks to 79-year-old Merelesita Qio, who had constantly opened her home to them.

Now thanks to her children, she is getting a new home to keep catering for expecting mothers.

A home away from home for pregnant Cikobia islanders

Over the years, Ms Qio had assisted 36 women who have also come from as far as Taveuni and Wainunu, Bua.

“These women would come when they’re seven months pregnant and stayed until their newborns are one-month-old,” Ms Qio said.

“When they come, they would bring their children and other family members as well.

“Sometimes they would leave the sick children behind and we would take them to the hospital and get their medicines as well.

“At one time I would be looking after three mothers and their newborns.”

The new house

A new house is being built for her in Namara, Labasa

She said she was living in the old house for  58 years old.

It had survived four floods despite it being situated near the Labasa River. The only exception was during Tropical Cyclone Ana.

The mother of six, said the floods brought in by Tropical Cyclone Ana were the worst that she had come across. She had to be evacuated to her neighbour’s home.

“This house is not safe as it can collapse anytime, so my children, who are now all working and living overseas, have decided to fund this new house,” she said.

District Representative of Cikobia Jiasa Ratumuri was thankful to Ms Qio’s family for the initiative in housing people who travel from afar to sought medical assistance or do shopping in the main town of Vanua Levu.

Feedback: laisa.lui@fijisun.com.fj



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