Winston blows away hopes

PEOPLE on Koro Island say they are still lost after the devastation caused by Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston and they do not know where to begin in terms of rehabilitation and their recovery efforts.

A team from this newspaper visited the island last week and noticed that majority of the men were still in the village and little effort had been put towards farming.

Nasau villager Sikeli Yauvoli reckoned many were lost because of their dreadful experiences.

He said the state of their village and the destruction caused had given them little hope of achieving more in life, especially when they had lost everything they had worked hard for, for many years.

“It happened all of a sudden. From owning everything to nothing and it is hard for us to start afresh. I mean, we will start again but we just don’t know where to start from,” Mr Yauvoli said.

He said some men in the village had yet to visit their farms. Mr Yauvoli said fallen trees were keeping them from visiting their farms.

He said it took farmers nearly a whole day to get to their farms as it was hard finding their way around.

Mr Yauvoli said they needed Government to provide them with chainsaws to clear the debris and start farming again.

“We have planted the seeds and cuttings given by Government. Our kumala are expected to be ready in about two months time but we are worried about the long run. Dalo is starting to grow again but those are the ones that we will replant and that will be six months from now,” he said.

Malakai Salabula of Nacamaki also shared similar sentiments saying having a chainsaw will help them to start afresh.

Mr Yauvoli said it would take them a year or more to get their lives back to normal.

Rusiate Vakalakovi of Sinuvaca said they were focused on providing secure houses for their families and planting was only done in the back yard.

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