Villagers fear for safety

EIGHT months after Severe TC Winston, villagers of Yacata in Cakaudrove have received two shipments of building materials with the first load delivering nails only.

Out of the 34 houses totally damaged by the cyclone, seven houses have been rebuilt on the island.

Ten families live in tents and they are now fearing for their safety as Fiji faces another cyclone season from next month.

During a government tour to the island last week, villagers also raised their concerns on the lack of building materials supplied to them.

Village headman Peni Qusa confirmed only two shipments of assistance have arrived on the island since February following the cyclone.

He pleaded with the Assistant Minister for Provincial Development Joeli Cawaki to quicken assistance as Fiji faces another cyclone season next month.

He added that while they understood the shortage of building materials faced around the country, it was important to note that villagers’ livelihoods were still in jeopardy.

The second shipment to the island last month, Mr Qusa, said had delivered timber.

Mr Qusa thanked the team of government officials for visiting them.

He said that medication supply had returned to normal after a team from the Ministry of Health delivered medicine.

Students of the Sukanaivalu Victoria Cross Memorial School remain in classes without any disruption. On the concerns raised at Yacata, Mr Cawaki said he would follow-up on the issue.

“We will follow-up on all the issues and to have nails delivered without a roof is not normal,” he said.

“Rehabilitation happening in Labasa is slow and will need co-ordinated effort.”

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