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Students stranded

Luke Rawalai
Monday, March 03, 2014

STUDENTS of Nakavika Village have not been able to attend school for two weeks as they wait for floodwaters to recede.

Village headman Matia Taitusi said more than 60 students had been stranded in the village and neighbouring Nasuva because of flooding.

Mr Taitusi said most students in their village attended school in Seaqaqa.

"Our students have not been able to cross the Nakavika River," he said.

"The strong currents that came with the flooding have kept students at home and I have even advised parents to keep their children at home as it is not safe to cross the river.

"The river problem in Nakavika is an age-old one — we have been crying to the authorities for a bridge but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears."

Mr Taitusi said even pregnant mothers and sick people in the village had been stranded.

His namesake Matia Taitusi senior said their elders used to carry the children on their backs 70 years ago and the people were still doing it today.

"I am scared that one day something catastrophic could happen to people attempting to cross the river — and that would be a very sad day," he said.

Nabala Secondary School student Ilisapeci Toma said she was worried about the amount of schoolwork she had missed during the two weeks she had been stranded in the village.

"We cannot help it. When flooding started about two weeks ago, I'd hoped it would flood for a day or two because I was worried about school," she said.

"Even though I am having a good time at home now I'm worried about the amount of catching up I have to do when I get back to school."

Commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu said according to the budget they had received for the year, plans were in the pipeline for the construction of a bridge at Nasuva Village located just beside Nakavika.

"However, we will look into the matter and consult the Prime Minister's office regarding the condition of the villagers at Nakavika," he said.

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