A DISTRAUGHT 82-year-old Sovaia Talakubu is praying for a miracle to save her family's home.
An emotional Ms Talakubu struggled to contain her emotions as she shared her story with The Sunday Times yesterday.
She said she had been living at Veidogo settlement in Nasese for more than 30 years and in an attempt to save their home, had resorted to securing the services of a lawyer, Aseri Vakaloloma, to help settle the dispute in her favour.
She said they had not been informed of the planned developing works and were not given any notice to relocate.
However director Housing Kolinio Bola said one family had been served with a relocation notice. And he said they would need to await the decision of the land developer.
Mr Bola said government could only step in to assist the family if it was a freehold land.
Mr Vakaloloma said he had written to the land developer to explain his client's plight.
In his letter, Mr Vakaloloma said he asked the land developer to take into account the state of his client's livelihood and discuss ways where they could be relocated.
"I do not understand why it is difficult to assist these families and rebuild their lives somewhere," Mr Vakaloloma said.
Speaking in the iTaukei language, Ms Talakubu said: "Me keitou qai lako i vei? Na dede ni neitou tu ike, sega ni bau dua e cakava na tovo lolovira qo. Ratou lako ga mai, taya na veidogo ka vakacacana neitou gaunisala qai mai biuti keitou tu vaka oqo. (Where can we go? For all this time, we have been staying here, no one has ill-treated us like this. They came and cut the mangroves, damaged our footpath and left us in this state)."
Ms Talakubu's house is like an island on a lake as the result of the bulldozing.
She said the late Tui Suva had agreed for her family to build their home on the piece of land where she had raised three children and five grandchildren.
With tears in her eyes, Ms Talakubu prayed that God would provide a miracle and give her family what was enough for them.