Villagers depend on government rations

PEOPLE on Koro Island are solely depending on food ration distributed by Government, nine weeks after Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston ravaged the island.

Their plantations were completely destroyed and their fish and sea supplies became rare after the tidal waves made a clean sweep of their catching ground.

All villages visited by this newspaper agreed it would take them at least a year to restore their agricultural supplies.

Most are still trying to identify their planting areas because the trees uprooted by the cyclone were hard to clear.

Nacamaki Village headman Malakai Salabula said the cuttings and seeds distributed by Government was not enough.

He said as for Nacamaki, they had a population of about 250 compared with 341 when Severe TC Winston struck.

More than 100 are farmers.

“We were only given four packets of seeds containing varieties of vegetables for a mataqali and there are about 50 farmers in it,” Mr Salabula said.

“Besides, we were given four bags of kumala tubers and by the time they arrived, most were nearly bad.

“We planted them anyway and when we checked, none grew.”

Rusiate Vakalakovi of Sinuvaca said they were having difficulties too in finding their dalo tops for planting.

This week, people on the island particularly villagers of Nasau, were again distributed with their food ration.

Rice is the main food supplementing root crops. People feed on tinned meat and canned fish daily from the food ration.

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