12 April, 2018, 12:00 am
The revelation that 8147 people on the island of Kadavu are in urgent need of food and water in the wake of Severe Tropical Cyclone Keni is a concern.
TC Keni swept through the island, leaving in its wake a trail of destruction.
It affected all 75 villages on Tuesday. Yesterday Divisional Commissioner Eastern Luke Moroivalu said they were aware of the need on the island.
His office, he said, was working with the National Disaster Management Office to send relief supplies to the 2363 households on Kadavu.
The biggest challenge as of yesterday afternoon, he said, was that the Vunisea jetty causeway had been washed out and the adverse weather was still an issue.
Government officials on the island, he said, had been mobilised to ascertain the immediate needs of the people.
While there were no figures available of the exact number of houses damaged, he said the number was significant though.
A government team of 50 to 60 representatives from all key agencies and government departments and ministries, he said, were most likely to leave Suva for Kadavu with relief supplies at the weekend.
Asaeli Sorovaki of Lawaki Village in the district of Nakasaleka claimed there was an urgent need for food and water on the island.
Farms, he said, were damaged because of the strong winds, which meant most villagers had food and water to last the next two days only.
The scenarios that have unfolded on Kadavu are not new.
This is the harsh reality of life in our nation.
Cyclones are part of our lives. They have not just come out of the woodworks so to speak.
It pays to be prepared. People of Kadavu said they prepared for the cyclone.
The system, in the end though, was strong.
Our cyclone season extends from November through to April annually.
It is the way things are in Fiji.
As we go about our chores today, let us remember those who are less fortunate than us.
They may be sleeping in makeshift shelters or with neighbours and relatives.
Some may be nursing injuries; some may be hungry and feel insecure.
They may be frustrated, helpless, and angry about their predicament.
Events such as TC Keni are important to look back on for they confirm how vulnerable we are, and why it is very important that we prepare well for natural disasters.
We should reflect on them and perhaps appreciate the need to always be prepared.