Man, 85, hopes to return to village once restrictions are lifted

Tevita Vakamoce and his son Manasa Vakamoce take refuge under a house at the Waisasa settlement in Tacirua. This has been their home for the past 10 years. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

TEVITA Vakamoce hopes the COVID-19 containment restrictions are lifted soon because he wants to return to his Daliconi Village, Lau home.

The 85-year-old Vanuabalavu man and his 43-year-old son Manasa have been living in the basement of a good Samaritan’s home in Waisasa Settlement, Tacirua for more than a decade.

“My wife, son and I left our village more than 10 years ago in the hope that my son could further his education but unfortunately he was stricken with a mental condition and he has stayed home ever since,” Mr Vakamoce said.

“My wife has since passed away and now we just want to go home.”

When this newspaper visited Mr Vakamoce on Friday, the father and son were asleep in their humble little basement home, with an old bedsheet only separating their belongings from old furniture and coconut shells kept underneath the house.

“The owner of the house has been very kind in offering us this place to stay without paying anything.

“We use their toilet facilities and we don’t pay for any bills.

“I want to build a proper home for us in the village but unfortunately we don’t have the money.”

A team from the Nasinu District Council of Social Services (NCOSS) and Waisasa Settlement headman Josateki Lewenisiga have been leading the assistance effort for Mr Vakamoce and his son.

“The residents here are all facing difficulties but we have rallied together to see how we can assist this family and we are fortunate that the traditional landowners have located a piece of land within the settlement for them to build their house, if they wish to remain here,” Mr Lewenisiga said.

NCOSS co-ordinator Usaia Moli said Mr Vakamoce qualified for the organisation’s cash voucher program and would receive a one-off payment of $400.

“We are also trying to get assistance to help us build a temporary shelter for Mr Vakamoce and his son, just to improve their living conditions,” Mr Moli said.

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