Families remain in tent homes

Apenisa Balawakula and cousin Ilisoni Uganitavui inside their tent which they have been staying in since April. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

Three months after losing everything during a freak tornado-like storm, four families in Wainikavula Settlement, Tailevu, continue to live in tents.

Turaganikoro Rusiate Valeusa, who also lost his home, said their immediate need was getting access to building material.

“We want to rebuild our homes because the tents we are living in are leaking,” the 37-year-old said. “Every time there is heavy rain, water comes in through the seams and all our beddings and clothes get wet. “The situation is so bad that we are using tarpaulin to minimise the flooding as much as we can.”

Mr Valeusa said he was concerned about the health and safety of the elderly and children.

“I have four children, my youngest Repeka Ezra is only five months old and I worry that she could get sick from the constant dampness.

“The same could be said for all the homes that were damaged in Wainikavula.”

The settlement headman said he was able to collect the remains of his former home and had nailed together a makeshift structure at the site of his former home. “But even that building is leaking.

“It leaks so badly that I had to use tarpaulins to try and direct the water away from belongings we have stored in there.”

Housing and Community Development Minister Premila Kumar said she would respond to queries sent from this newspaper once she had gathered the necessary information.

More Stories