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Landslides wipe out farms, crops

Repeka Nasiko
Friday, February 17, 2017

MASSIVE landslides near Maneyava Village in Ra wiped out most of the villagers' income-generating crops.

The village, with a total of 185 people, lost dalo and yaqona plants to a series of landslides caused by the recent heavy downpours.

Village elder Rupeni Drakabula said their farms had just recovered from Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston with new crops ready for harvest when the landslides occurred.

"One farm lost about $1000 worth of yaqona," he said.

"We have about 45 people planting yaqona and some had dalo plantations. Most of them lost their farms in the landslide."

Another villager, Deve Wakili, said most of the farmers were frustrated by the loss of their crops.

"We had just started to recover from Winston. Whatever new crops we planted after the cyclone was lost in last week's landslides, " he said.

Mr Wakili said the villagers watched helplessly as their farms were covered with heavy silt when the landslides happened.

Market vendor Vilomena Rusila said she was emotional when she saw the damage that was caused.

"I couldn't stop crying when I saw the farm," she said.

"This kind of struggle can drive someone crazy."

Ms Rusila said they had not been able to go to the market since the beginning of this year.

"Ever since last year's heavy rain in December, we have not gone to the market. We lost everything we were relying on to help our families," she said.

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