Still In Tents And Getting Ready For Cyclone Season

Residents of Nabavatu Village have been living in tents since February after Tropical Cyclone Ana struck: Village headman. Disaster Management Minister Inia Seruiratu says the villagers will be relocated once they sort out the land issue.
23 Nov 2021 12:36
Still In Tents And Getting Ready For Cyclone Season
A makeshift kitchen and cooking area built next to a tent that helped be home for 250 villagers of Nabavatu. Photo: Laisa Lui

The villagers of Nabavatu are already preparing for the cyclone season.

Village headman Viliame Naibono said they had been living in tents since February after they had evacuated to the Assemblies of God (AOG) Church ground when Tropical Cyclone Ana struck in January.

Mr Naibono said they would continue to wait on announcements from Government and their plans.

“We have set up a committee Disaster Prepared Plan, so when cyclone actually strikes, everyone knows what to do,” he said.

“Currently there are a total of 43 tents, which is home to 250 people.

“All the adults have been fully vaccinated and the children have begun with vaccination last week.

“We also have been receiving non-government organisations on raising awarenesses for child protection. Everyone has a role to play to protect our children and looking after one another.”

Mr Naibono said one of the many challenges they faced was the conditions of the tents and ground during rainy weather.

“All is well and we will work according to our disaster plan where by the committee will evacuate people to the Maramarua School

“There are also some villagers staying back at the village, which is a risk as it has already been identified by department of Environment and the Lands department.”

Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu reassured the people of Nabavatu that when all processes are carried out then their relocation would be done.

“There’s a relocation committee that is working closely with the Commissioner Northern. The first thing they trying to sort out is the land. There is no land that belongs to them whereby they can be relocated to,” he said.

“We are trying to allocate State land for them.”

Mr Seruiratu also said that with cyclone season approaching, it would not stop the work of getting things sorted.

He added that there was a criteria of relocation that the Commissioner and his team were following to ensure the safety of the people.

“When all the processes is carried then the relocation will be done,” he said.


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