Villagers return home

SEVEN of the 30 villagers who moved out of the island of Yacata in Cakaudrove to Suva after their houses were badly damaged by Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston, have returned to their partly-built houses.

Village headman Peni Qusa said the 30 who moved to Suva were mostly children and the elderly.

He said the houses were not completely repaired by the owners because of the lack of materials.

“We are repairing our own houses while waiting for the shipment of building materials to arrive,” Mr Qusa said.

“The villagers are using damaged building materials to repair their houses and whatever materials that are left.”

Mr Qusa said the seven families who shifted to Suva returned because their houses were ready, while the rest were still waiting in Suva.

“There are few families that are still living in tents and need change of tents too because the materials are wearing out,” he said.

“They have been living in the tent for nine months and the sun and rain have caused the material of the tent to wear out.

“We just hope that the Government will hear our plea and send in the next available shipment to bring our building materials because we also need it to rebuild our damaged school library.”

Mr Qusa said they could not wait around any longer.

“Thereis a lot of maintenance works that need to be done and houses to be built.

“But this can only happen if a shipment of building materials reaches the island soon because we need proper shelter.”

Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Joeli Cawaki said the rehabilitation happening in Labasa was slow and needed a co-ordinated effort.

He assured the villagers that the matter would be addressed.

More Stories