NEWS

‘I Wish This Was All A Dream’

Wife reels from death of husband washed away in flooded Serua river.
04 Jul 2022 16:00
‘I Wish This Was All A Dream’
Selina Liku holds a photo of her late husband Luke Erenavula at their village in Naimasimasi, Serua on July 3, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

I wish this was all a dream. Those were the words of Selina Liku, who is mourning the death of her husband, Luke Erenavula, 33, who was swept away by strong currents while trying to cross a flooded Wainikavou bridge near Naimasimasi Village, Serua, on Saturday night.

Ms Liku, during the interview, could not hold back tears while talking about her late husband at their family home in Naimasimasi.

 

“It is hard for me to accept that he is no more. My husband was a good man who would never stay angry for long and always treated me well. It is hard to believe that I will not be hearing him call my name or hear his laughter,” she said.

“I will always cherish the memories we had. I miss him and I wish that when I wake up, he will be here.”

 

Harsh Reality

Getting to the village was not easy – the Fiji Sun team got off at the damaged Wainikavou bridge and had to walk for almost an hour to reach Naimasimasi.

This is the reality that the villagers face: they live on the other end of the bridge – a bridge that gets swept away every time it rains heavily.

Village headman Eliki Latilati, sounding his concerns and safety of the villagers, said Luke’s incident was the second.

The damaged Wainikavou bridge (on the right) in Serua, with the new bridge still under construction. Photo: Leon Lord

The damaged Wainikavou bridge (on the right) in Serua, with the new bridge still under construction. Photo: Leon Lord

“Despite numerous complaints nothing has been done about the bridge. The construction of the bridge started in 2019, and until now it has not been completed,” Mr Latilati said.

“It is very sad that this has happened. We hope that the bridge will be completed soon. The temporary bridge always gets swept away when it rains.”

The first incident was in 2019, involving the disappearance of a father and son.

Their bodies have never been recovered.

 

Police

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said the body of the farmer was retrieved from the Naqase River, in Namuamua, Namosi, following a joint search effort with Police and villagers.

A post-mortem examination will be conducted soon to determine the cause of death.

 

Recalling the Tragedy

Ms Liku said they have been married for 10 years and described the husband as a man with a big heart, who always put others first.

Recalling their last moments, Ms Liku said: “My son and I left the village on Thursday to sell our produce at the Navua Market, and my husband arrived on Friday. On Saturday, I told my husband for us to board the 2pm carrier to come back to the village and he said for us to go later. We boarded the 7pm carrier and arrived at the Wainikavou Bridge at around 9pm.

 

“When we arrived at the bridge the water was high, and so my husband got out of the carrier. After some time, I asked two boys who were with us to get him inside, but he didn’t want to and wanted to cross the bridge.”

“I left our son in the carrier and ran after him and then he just disappeared in the water. We called out his name but there was no response from him.”

“We went to the school nearby and slept there and then today (Sunday) I was informed that his body was found.”

 

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj



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