PEOPLE living in flood-prone Bila settlement on the outskirts of Lautoka City will have to secure a piece of land before the government assists in relocating them, says Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki.
Hard-hit by the destructive floods earlier this year, community headman Savenaca Saunoko, 54, said they were advised to move but did not have the funds to acquire land for resettlement.
He said the community of 101 was struggling to survive in the wake of floods.
"Our community consist of 101 people who were probably the worst affected by the floods in all the areas from Rakiraki to Sigatoka," Mr Saunoko said.
"The Prime Minister himself visited our community after the flood and said the state of the community was the worst compared to all the places he visited in the Western Division.
"Government has advised we pay a sum of money if we want to relocate but we don't have that money with us to give for relocation.
"We have no choice but to remain in this community and do things like plant big trees to protect the river from soil erosion."
When this newspaper visited the community this week, three families were still living in tarpaulin tents.
Commander Cawaki said the land was important for relocation and it would only be done if people owned land they could move to. "If we relocate them, we should know that that particular land belongs to them," he said.
He said another village in Ba was facing similar problems. "If they have the land, we have to make sure that the land is also reserved."