Farmer learns lesson after cyclone

Rupeni Cama and his six-year-old daughter Iliana Balesakau look at what is left of their personal belongings. Picture SIKELI QUNADOVU

Rupeni Cama and his six-year-old daughter Iliana Balesakau look at what is left of their personal belongings. Picture SIKELI QUNADOVU

AS a full-time farmer, Rupeni Cama relied heavily on the toils of the land to help sustain his family.

Everything he had he invested in his farm, whenever they were short with their basic food item, the 55-year-old father of four would turn to his farm.

After several years of toiling the land, Mr Cama built his dream home for his wife and four children.

When The Fiji Times visited Mr Cama at Namuana Village on Kadavu on Saturday, he alongside his six-year-old daughter, Iliana Balesakau were shuffling through the remains of their house trying to salvage what was left after strong wind pulled down the walls and the doors, with only the wooden frame and corrugated iron roofing left.

He said it was a frightful experience but was glad none of his children were injured.

“We were all standing in our house when a mango branch fell on our house, that’s when my children were taken to a neighbouring house.

“I looked around to see what I can gather but what was important to me was the safety of my children. For me losing the home was fine but I will never be able to accept if I lose a child.

“I built our home last December and it cost me more than $10,000 from my yaqona farm.

“Cyclone Keni has taught me a valuable lesson to build a well secured house and also to save and invest, because by saving and investing we will be able to build our own house and not have to rely on government or any other person.

“Anyone willing to help, we look forward to your assistance. But for me I will not wait, I will do what I can to see that we quickly return to normalcy.”

While they continue with their daily chores like many other Kadavu families who suffered the same fate, Mr Cama will await Government and other stakeholders’ assistance.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama earlier announced they had government assessment teams on the ground with more relief supplies on the way.

“After we’ve attended to the immediate needs of affected Fijians in Kadavu and finished damage assessments, we will be announcing another relief package, CARE for KADAVU, that is tailored to the unique needs of communities on the island,” Mr Bainimarama said.

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