Nabavatu villagers embark on new journey

January 20, 2024 12:28 pm

[Source: Fiji Government/ Facebook]

Thirty seven families of Nabavatu Dreketi, in Macuata who have been living in a state of displacement, and adapting to strange new surroundings for the past three years will soon have permanent shelters.

This as the government has finalized a new relocation site in Nadoiviri, Dreketi, in Macuata as two sites identified earlier were not approved or not agreed to by all parties.

Village headmen Moritikei Waqawaqa says yesterday’s groundbreaking brings a sense of hope and they will now be embarking on a new journey.

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[Source: Fiji Government/ Facebook]

He says the past three years have not been easy as people faced hardships and struggles.

Waqawaqa says they will now be able to lead a normal life.

“The devastating wrath of cyclone that we went through, people were traumatized especially our children. I can recall when it used to rain they will run for shelter thinking that it will reoccur again but yesterday event I want to thank the government of the day the previous government for the processes. Relocation is a process and it’s not easy.”

Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Sakiasi Ditoka commended the villagers for their resilience.

[Source: Fiji Government/ Facebook]

Ditoka says the government has already spent $29,000 to complete the necessary geo-tech and topographic survey for the new site.

“Relocating 37 houses is not cheap. From our last discussion with the Ministry of Public Works, it requests government an average of $60,000 per house to build a 24 x 18 wooden structure. In simple mathematics, this will require $2.2 million. This does not include construction costs.”

The project is the first relocation initiative to be funded by the Climate Relocation of Communities Trust Fund, made possible through the new Standard of Procedure for Planned Relocation, recently endorsed by the Cabinet.

Over $577, 000 has been released through the Trust Fund administered by the Climate Change Unit to assist in the preparatory works at this new site.