Washed memories – It’s time to move

Luisa Radininamalata, 72, sits and ponders on what the future holds for her and the village she calls home Narikoso village on Ono island in Kadavu. Picture: SIKELI QOUNADOVU

UNDER a coconut tree she sits, with a long look on her face. She glances at children walking around and ponders on what was once her description of her beautiful paradise.

About half a century ago, Luisa Radininamalata, made the short sail from her village of Nacomoto in the district of Naceva on Kadavu across to Narikoso on the island of Ono.

It is here she has spent most of her life, fulfilling her duty as a wife and a mother.

For the 72-year-old, her life in Narikoso is filled with a lot of memories.

For it is here she was traditionally betrothed by her own people to her husband and to the vanua Raviravi. It is here where she raised her two children.

In addition to the memories of going with other village women to look for pandanus leaves in the woods, weaving together, or collecting firewood. Fifty years at Narikoso Village, has been one filled with a lot of fond memories — sadly though, the memories of the village green and where she spent most of her adulthood will soon be washed away.

Mrs Radininamalata’s house is one of seven houses earmarked to be the first to be relocated because of the rising sea level.

I will really miss this place, but we have no choice and we must move. We have all agreed to relocate because this is the best choice for our future generation.

“I still go to the farm, I still collect firewood and at the same time look after my husband who is bedridden. This is where I found love. Here at this place I raised my family and now we will have to relocate. It hurts to move — but it is the best decision.

“All I am set to have now are memories of this place that will soon be flooded by sea water,” said Mrs Radininamalata. Two weeks ago, the village was flooded during high tide.

Every now and then villagers of Narikoso have to brace themselves as the king tide may very soon flood their living rooms.

n TOMORROW: The lost land

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