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Lost identity

Ropate Valemei
Thursday, August 21, 2014

ANOTHER village in the province of Cakaudrove is fighting a battle against cultural identity and climate change.

Vunisavisavi Village is eroding from the rise in sea level and requests have reached the Cakaudrove Provincial Council office for relocation.

However, it is a question of relocation or cultural identity for the village.

"In Cakaudrove, we have the first relocation case, which is Vunidogoloa.

"And we have another community, and talks are underway with the USAID Coastal Community Adaptation Project, which is Vunisavisavi Village in Savusavu," roko tui Cakaudrove Sara Bulutani said.

"This is like the old fort for the Tui Cakau. Some of the history of Cakaudrove is at Vunisavisavi," he said, adding that the name iLalagavesi, the title of the Tui Cakau, originated from there.

"So the cultural impact of climate change is at Vunisavisavi — whether to save or restore that identity or relocate."

Mr Bulutani said it was for them to prioritise, which was important.

"It's really sad."

He said USAID Coastal Community Adaptation Project was on board to assist with the relocation of some houses.

He said there were three other communities in the province that had been identified as victims of climate change.

"We have Korolevu tikina o Navatu, Vunisavisavi tikina o Cakaudrove vanua, Karoko Village tikina o Tunuloa and Waitabu in Bouma, Taveuni, excluding other communities that are there that have indications of the rising sea level."

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