Mother waits to return home once it is safe

Oriva Tuibuinase (back) grooms Sera Malo’s hair while taking shelter at the Lautoka Primary School. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Mother of five Oriva Tuibuinase says her family will return to their Lovu Seaside settlement home once it is safe to do so.

She and her family have been sheltering at the Lautoka Primary School along with 35 other families since Sunday.

Mrs Tuibuinase said she was worried about her children contracting a communicable disease from the muddy plains left behind after torrential downpours.

“My youngest is a nine-month-old baby,” she said.

“I don’t want to take my children back home when it’s still very muddy. We had water come into our house during the heavy rain and when we tried to go back on Tuesday, the water was still at waist-level.

“Then on Wednesday when the water was finally down, the foul smell from the muddy water was too much for me. I started to get lightheaded from the stench and knew I couldn’t take my children back when the smell was still unbearable.”

Ms Tuibuinase said they would stay a few more days at the evacuation centre before they return home.

Her neighbour and aunt, Matelita Rokanu, said households in Lovu Seaside needed assistance to address chronic flood issues.

“What we need is assistance to secure our homes,” she said.

“Most of us are living in flood-prone areas so we need to elevate our homes. If we can be allowed to access our FNPF to be able to do that, it will help us deal with this problem.”

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