200 climate change refugees take shelter at primary school

The flooded Vatunibale Road near Bulileka in Labasa. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

The 200 climate change refugees in Dreketi who were relocated more than a year ago in the wake of Severe Tropical Cyclone Ana were forced to shelter at a primary school because of inclement weather associated with TC Cody.

Dreketi district rep Eseroma Lava said the Nabavatu villagers were moved to Maramarua Primary School on Saturday.

“Our temporary shelter at the AOG Church compound has been taken down to prevent any damage from this cyclone,” Mr Lava said.

“We relocated to the primary school at around 2pm on Saturday, with the elderly, women and children being moved first.

“Since moving to the school, we have had to provide for ourselves and we are managing.”

He said they were helping each other by sharing meals at the evacuation centre.

“Whatever food we get from the farm is used for everyone, so our wives cook together in the classroom.”

Mr Lava said moving around had been a challenge, especially for the vulnerable.

“It’s not easy but we have no choice because we can’t go back to our houses in the village because it has been declared a hazardous site.”

The villagers were relocated from Nabavatu in January last year after weather associated with STC Ana resulted in cracks appearing in the village lawn and infrastructure.

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