THE people of the Western Division are resilient. There's no doubt about that.
Faced with a disaster that has left thousands of people without homes, clothes and household items, many can still manage a smile.
It speaks volume of the resilience of people in the disaster zones and their willingness to accept their predicament. But instead of dwelling on the negatives, many have chosen to maintain a positive attitude.
It is a brave act that goes beyond anything we can easily explain.
As the State machinery and other organisations and charitable bodies and volunteers continue with their massive efforts to bring relief to the division, we should take time to look back at our individual actions over the disaster period and learn from it.
While it pays to be careful, the onus is on the powers that be to start identifying attributing factors to the massive floods that caused havoc in most parts of the Western Division. We owe it to the thousands of people affected by the latest natural disaster.
Average rainfall leading up to and over the period of the floods should determine a number of issues if we care to make comparisons with past floods and with high rainfall figures in the past.
Flooding is expected in low-lying areas around the country, however, it is a concern that floodwaters appear to be on the rise, going past previous levels in some parts of the Western Division.
While floods are not uncommon, the intensity and levels are frightening.
As we mentioned in January, it forces us to ask questions about indiscriminate burning of forests in the highlands and whether deforestation could have an impact on the quick removal of top soil which subsequently end up in our rivers.
We may wonder whether years of this have actually added to lift up the river bed, thus forcing a swollen river to burst its banks earlier than expected.
We may wonder whether dredging is a major fix.
Again, we raise the issue of whether we should re-look at rainfall runoffs to maybe determine the extent to which we probably should be encouraging the sustainability of our environment?
The other option really does not look any better - that of relocation of some of our urban centres.
Plans for a river divert proposal for Nadi deserve some attention.
We realise development must go on, however, we wonder whether there should be some change in assessing future projects and any likely impact on our waterways around the country.
Perhaps we should fix the fixables first and then focus on long term objectives, learning from this episode.