Family relocate in wake of TC Harold

Loraini Marama, 60, with her grandson Sailasa Bitu sitting on what used to be their home. They had to relocate after a series of landslides and soil erosion along the river banks at Vuniniudrovu village. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

A 60-year-old grandmother and her family were forced to dismantle their home of 20 years and relocate in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Harold.

Loraini Marama of Vuniniudrovu Village, Naitasiri, said the move was brought about when very strong currents destabilised the foundation of their home.

“During TC Harold, the Waimanu River currents were so strong that it began eating away at the riverbanks,” she said.

“And as the riverbanks eroded, the currents washed away part of the soil where our house was standing.

“I asked my husband to dismantle our house and build it somewhere far from the riverbank.”

Ms Marama said they dismantled their house in June and shifted all their belongings to higher ground.

The head of yavusa Naitasiri, Vuniniudrovu, Savenaca Muca Duituraga said he had personally witnessed the riverbank slowly eroding over the past few decades.

He said despite numerous requests, no assistance had come from Government.

“We hope that one day Government will hear our cries and officials will come to the village and see for themselves the problems we have been facing over the past 30 years,” he said.

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