Banaban Voice

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Banaban Nawaia Touakin Suva reporting NOW DAY 4 and still NO ONE has heard from Rabi

Ken Sigrah just got off the phone with Nawaia Touakin in Suva and he is most concerned about the fact that no emergency teams have got into Rabi yet. He stated , 'this is day four, and we know that the emergency teams flew over Rabi yesteday on there way to Cikobia and Taveuni but still no one has made contact. This is of major concern to all Banabans'.

Map of Fiji

The last we heard from Rabi before the phones went down was 1.30pm Fiji time Monday. We already know by then that Binati had reported all the food trees had gone around Nuku, Tabwewa, and Uea from Tabiang in his last phone contact with Ken reported 5 house around him breaking up and them evacuating to higher ground at Rabi High School.

Nawaia wants people to try and put some pressure on 'the powers that be' to please make contact with Rabi. Ken will attempt a crossing on Saturday as long as he can get on the Nadi-Taveuni flight he is already booked on. He will have a satellite phone.

We also have to worry now that pressure will be on the media to not show Fiji TC Tomas in negative light so it does not affect tourism on the southern Coral Coast of FIji.

So calling on all Banabans where ever you are and friends of our commmunity to please make sure our people are not FORGOTTEN again in this disaster. Please relay and forward these messages to everyone you know.

This cyclone was far worse than AMI and we know what happened that time. One month before even Red Cross took emergency food and aid to them.

Let's hope that the Fiji Navy will make contact with them today.

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Comment by Nawaia Touakin on March 18, 2010 at 9:13am
I just spoke with Notue, my younger daughter who is with DISMAC and she did mentioned DISMAC did mentioned they flew over Rambi Island yesterday and reproted nothing urgent, from the air, therefore there was nothing much to report from Rambi. I still feel there is more to go and see regarding the needs of our banaban people right now especially following TC Tomas recent visit.
I forwarded a text message to my daughter Notue yesterday which went as follows; From what I read in the papers and heard over the radio till yesterday, my final assessment was that our major provider the sea is redefining it boundary with us after a very long time and this time he has just made it better known to us that he would like to claim more of what he has not been taking within a much shorter period - the Fijian saying ... toso.
I was talking to some fellow Banabans since las evening and we fear for the worst for our fellow Banabans on the island.
With our father the sea reclaiming its boundary recently, I fear losing many of our coastal dwellings. In predicting the worst, I am afraid we would have lost a major portion of our only private road. I fear the sea would just wash up the remaining coastal portion of what is more-or-less was the beach in redifining its boundary leaving most of our coastal settlements located right on the beaches. Our Tabwewa Meang communities would have borne the brunt of TC Tomas and most of our homes, if any are still standing, right now would be having beach fronts.
Going back to the authorities prioritising our people on Rabi following disasters and not really giving our people similar priority given to the other communities after a natural disaster. We listened from Suva as TC Tomas came and left a path of destruction. We noted too that Rabi was one of the islands directly in its path. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday passed without a word from home. Thursday came and concerns grew about our people on the island. We were told by DISMAC that a plane (or helicopter flew over Rambi yesterday and noted nothing major to report therefore did not need to land on Rabi. Not a single person from the authorities bothered to stop by our people just to check whether they require anything urgent or not. I there was a life that was lost after yesterday afternoon's then those in authority who made that aerial assessment should take responsibility for such unnecessary loss of life.
Right now we cling to the hope of not hearing our worst fears when the grim realities of what Tomas did to our people finally descend on us. I am counting my lucky stars Tomas spared Suva otherwise there would have been total chaos here.
Our Banaban people have just been dealt another bad blow. How long it takes our people to get back to their feet is really a question we all need to discuss and collectively make a collective response to.
Ken is bringing with him an Australian cyclone relief bandwagon which he hopes to take accross to
Rabi I dont know what for but I hope it does not add to the confusion TC Tomas has left our people in.
What we urgently require now is decisive leaders. We now need leaders who will stand up from among the ruins which our people have been left in by TC TOmas and come up with solutions and plans to take our people out of our current dilemma.
God help us to find quick and immediate answers/solutions to our immediate needs.


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