Rabi landslide? Not a big problem, horseback and walking the answer

Riding on horseback is the main way to get around Rabi Island after the landslide blocked the road … or just walk. Image: Blessen Tom/Bearing Witness

By Hele Ikimotu on Rabi, Fiji

The rebuilding of a road on Fiji’s northern Rabi Island is currently in the works.

Fiji’s most recent natural disaster, Tropical Cyclone Keni, destroyed many parts of the country’s main towns.

One of Fiji’s outer islands, Rabi, was also affected by the cyclone.

Although the cyclone did not pass through the 66 sq km island in the Vanua Levu group, heavy rain and wind caused the landslide, blocking a road which connects the main village of Tabwewa to the rest of the island.

The landslide has meant that it is unsafe for locals to use the road. They must either walk around the rubble – or ride a horse.

This is not the first time a landslide has happened in Rabi due to the impacts of harsh weather.

-Partners-

Janet Tawaketini, whose last time on Rabi was in 1995, is visiting the island and was shocked to see the remnants of a previous landslide, also in Tabwewa.

“That’s where my great grandparents’ graves were. Their grave and their bones are literally gone,” she said.

A building company from Savusavu has been sent over to Rabi to fix the most recent landslide.

Hele Ikimotu and Blessen Tom are in Fiji as part of the Pacific Media Centre’s Bearing Witness 2018 climate change project. They are collaborating with the University of the South Pacific.

The mudslide-blocked Rabi road under repair. Image: Blessen Tom/Bearing Witness A digger to the rescue on Rabi’s blocked road. Image: Blessen Tom/Bearing Witness

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Fiji’s provident fund frees up $5.3m for natural disaster assistance

A spate of tropical cyclones has hit Fiji and other Pacific Islands in the past few months, causing widespread damage and flooding in low-lying areas. Image: Dept of Information/Wansolwara

By Wansolwara News staff

The Fiji National Provident Fund has released $5.33 million in flood assistance funds to 6351 members in the aftermath of two recently devastating cyclones that passed through the Fiji islands group.

Tropical Cyclone Josie and TC Keni brought torrential rain and strong winds, causing massive flooding in most parts of the Western Division and other low-lying areas around the country.

The FNPF had stepped in to offer affected members some relief through its natural disaster assistance initiative.

In a statement, FNPF chief executive officer Jaoji Koroi said inspection of the worst affected areas had been completed.

He said inspection teams distributed 13,646 forms so far.

“We’ve shifted our focus to the processing of applications because most of the areas that were identified have been covered by our inspection teams,” he said.

-Partners-

“The teams have been conducting follow up visits since Tuesday to members who had missed out during the initial inspection in their respective areas.

“We continue to receive queries from members and we’ve taken note of the genuine cases while at the same time advising those who were not affected that this assistance is not for them.”

Koroi said FNPF assistance would also be extended to Kadavu next week, adding two teams would be in Vunisea, which had been identified as the worst affected area on the island.

“We encourage affected members in Kadavu to ensure that they are ready with all their requirements and provide these to our teams when they are there,” Koroi said.

The fund has been liaising with the Divisional Commissioners during the natural disaster response phase and continues to work closely with them as it provides the relevant assistance to its members living in the affected areas.

“Members are reminded again that the fund is a retirement savings scheme and withdrawals ultimately reduces their savings,” Koroi said.

Fiji military clear debris and fallen trees at Vunisea Government Station, Kadavu. Image: Dept of Information/Wansolwara

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Urgent call for help on Kadavu island after Keni’s Fiji devastation

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Headline: Urgent call for help on Kadavu island after Keni’s Fiji devastation

This house at Namara Village in Sanima on Kadavu had its roof blown off. Image: The Fiji Times

By Vilimaina Naqelevuki in Suva

A resort owner on Kadavu has called on Fijians to urgently assist those on the island after the devastation caused by Severe Tropical Cyclone Keni this week.

Matava Eco Resort director Mark O’Brien said children and women were the most affected and the resort was housing several families who had lost everything in the category 3 cyclone.

“We’re looking after three families at the moment, but I know Vacalea Village lost up to seven houses and most of their houses were damaged as well,” O’Brien said.

READ MORE: Wintry storm batters NZ

He said most of their yaqona plantations were damaged and they were still trying to fix significant damage to their resort.

“Mainly just all kava, all the plantation of the farms are all ruined, literally all ruined,” O’Brien said.

-Partners-

“Even here in Matava, we have 300 banana trees, there’s a big garden so it’s all gone, finished. All the banana trees and all the mango trees and avocado trees are all gone.

“A man I talked to who’s about 80 years old said it’s the worst storm he had ever seen to hit this part of Fiji.”

‘Be prepared’ plea by editor
In today’s Fiji Times editorial, editor-in-chief Fred Wesley, said the revelation that 8147 people on the island of Kadavu were in urgent need of food and water in the wake of severe TC Keni was a concern.

But he also appealed to Fiji islanders to be better prepared for the “harsh reality” of life with cyclones.

Keni swept through the [Kadavu] island, leaving in its wake a trail of destruction. It affected all 75 villages on Tuesday.

“The scenarios that have unfolded on Kadavu are not new. This is the harsh reality of life in our nation,” said Wesley.

“Cyclones are part of our lives. They have not just come out of the woodworks so to speak.

“It pays to be prepared. People of Kadavu said they prepared for the cyclone.

“The system, in the end though, was strong. Our cyclone season extends from November through to April annually.

“It is the way things are in Fiji.

“As we go about our chores today, let us remember those who are less fortunate than us.”

Vilimaina Naqelevuki is a Fiji Times reporter.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz