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Villagers still live in tents

Luke Rawalai
Friday, November 04, 2016

WITH the onset of the cyclone season the villages of Navakawau, Vuna and Lavena on the island of Taveuni are still without contingency plans for the new season.

Sharing his experience during a community participatory workshop in Labasa yesterday, Vuna Village headman Petero Sobusika said 12 families in his village were still living in tents.

Mr Sobusika said the 12 families had shacks they sheltered in during wet weather, adding the shelters could not withstand strong winds.

"In Vuna we have the village of Banikea which has a population of over 300 and the village of Nakorovou which has over 400 people," he said.

"At present both villages do not have a contingency plan should we have another cyclone."

Also speaking during the workshop Navakawau assistant village head Jone Nikolau said they had 20 houses in the village that withstood Severe TC Winston, adding since the population in the village was more than 600 the shelters were not enough.

Mr Nikolau said people had started to ask him what measures would be taken if another cyclone struck.

"I do not know what to say since I am still struggling with my family to find a proper home," he said.

Meanwhile, Lavena Village head Petero Waisea said they had a disaster committee in the village that had worked on five homes.

He said they had initially planned to build 20 houses before the cyclone season set in.

"The five houses and the school that were recently refurbished by the Taveuni Rotary Club have been identified by our committee as suitable for the villagers.

"We are still to work on a contingency plan with the people," he said.

Community representatives on the island shared their experiences after Severe TC Winston as part of the workshop organised by the Pacific Peacebuilding Program.

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