12 homes remains; most moved out after the cyclone

Cogea Village headman Atekini Nairibuli. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

When Tropical Cyclone Yasa tore a trail of destruction through the country in December 2020, one of the hardest-hit areas was Wainunu, Bua.

Before TC Yasa, Cogea Village was home to 30 households.

Eighteen months later, only 12 houses remain.

Apart from the destruction of homes, infrastructure, and plantations, TC Yasa forced the mass exodus of people from the village.

Storm surges caused by the cyclone swept 18 houses into the sea and damaged the remaining 12.

Village headman Atekini Nairibuli said some families had moved to their farms and built their houses there while some had moved into urban areas in search of better opportunities.

“The floods removed most houses that were located in the lower part of the village and damaged the rest except for three that stood in the elevated parts,” he said.

“After the cyclone, most have moved out and for those who went to their farms, they also took their tents with them. But over the years, we have learnt to be patient and moved on with life in whatever way we could.”

Mr Nairibuli said their wait had paid off with the government assistance in relocating the village, and they were excited to move to the new site.

“It’s a big thing for us because we are venturing into a totally new chapter in a new surrounding and we’re excited.”

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