Chief’s quest for help a reality

WHILE everyone celebrated the opening of the coastal adaptation project at Vunisavisavi Village, Pio Waqairatavo, a mover and shaker of this project lay bedridden at his home.

Mr Waqairatavo, the village headman who has been at this project for the past six years, could not even look out from his home to witness the commissioning of the project.

But his illness did not deter him from being part of the occasion as he asked all guests to speak loudly so he could hear them from his bedside.

“I have been part of this project for quite a long time. One of us attended a workshop in Labasa and returned to share with us what they learned,” Mr Waqairatavo said.

“After that, I started searching and asking around for assistance. I visited government departments and travelled right to Labasa in search of information.

“Our villagers were suffering and as village headman, I had to do something about it. When there was high tide, the waves would come under the house and for low houses, the water will enter.”

Mr Waqairatavo said after searching for assistance, a team including a representative from the US Government visited the village.

“Then we waited again for another two years and then everything started working out and we are forever grateful to the US Government for their great help.”

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