Villagers target $60k to rebuild community hall

Villagers of Namuaniwaqa village in Nalawa, Ra, at a village meeting last weekend. Picture: REPEKA NASIKO.

AFTER losing their community hall and evacuation centre two years ago to Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston, villagers of Namuaniwaqa Village in Ra are hoping to build a new shelter for their community.

Villagers from across the country and abroad gathered at the village last weekend to begin rebuilding the community hall.

Village headman Mataiasi Tabanikau said the hall was one of the first structures to fall during Severe TC Winston.

“We thought it would hold when the storm came but within 10 minutes the roof came out,” he said.

“There were people still inside when it went down and a lot of people had to hide underneath their houses.”

He said after that harrowing experience, Namuaniwaqa villagers decided that a stronger structure was needed for their community to evacuate to during natural disasters.

Organising committee chairman Epeli Save said the villagers had set a target to collect more than $60,000 for the reconstruction work.

“Since we couldn’t get any help from outside, we decided that we would raise the money ourselves,” he said.

“We have seen a lot of our villagers supporting this project and we are grateful to our community for coming together for the important event.”

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