Banaban Voice

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Latest Update Rabi: Emergency Food Aid Distribution

23 March 2010 Rabi Island Fiji reported by Ken Sigrah via satellite phone

EMERGENCY FOOD ALREADY DISTRIBUTED EVENLY TO FOUR VILLAGES
Ken advised that on their return from Savusavu with emergency food supplies that they immediately began distribution of the food to each of the four villages on Rabi.
He stated that they did not want the people to go hungry another day. The donated food was divided equally and handed over to the Chairman of each village committee. Each committee will identify the most in need from pregnant women, mothers with young babies, elderly, infirmed and those with disabilities.


VILLAGE YOUTH TO BEGIN ROAD CLEARING TO RESUME SCHOOL BUSES TO HIGH SCHOOL
Ken reported that by the time he paid the lorry and car hires he still had FJD$500 cash remaining. It has been determined that this money will go toward fuel and hire of chainsaws and transportation to mobilize village youth teams in each of the four villages to begin the task of clearing the Island’s main roadway. At this stage the road is still blocked by fallen trees and the school bus cannot get the children to the island’s only high school located in the southern village on Tabiang.


DAMAGED METHODIST CHURCH BUAKONIKAI VILLAGE
During today’s food drop, Ken was shocked on reaching Buakonikai, the most southerly village on the island to find the grand Methodist church with the entire half its roof missing. This is a solid concrete structure and is one of the biggest church buildings in all of Fiji. The church was built by hand after the local villagers virtually moved a mountain over a period spanning more than 24 years and only completed their mammoth task in the mid 1990s.
This building represents a true labour of love, and shows the resolve and strength of the Banaban community to overcome all odds. Another two fine examples of Banaban Methodist church buildings are found in Uma and Tabwewa villages. Amidst so much adversity and even with the level of devastation these buildings give the community a sentinel of hope to pull together and rebuild again.

URGENT DONATION TARGET AUD$2,000 TO PURCHASE SATELLITE PHONE
Tomorrow we begin another URGENT DONATION DRIVE with a target of AUD$2,000 to purchase the satellite phone that Ken has taken over and include more bundled airtime with the purchase. While it operates on overseas call rates within Fiji it is the only link that Rabi will have with the outside world over coming weeks, and they will need it to help in the coordination of more aid and equipment they will need to repair their island and rebuild their lives.
We would like to call on all our overseas friends and supporters to get behind us again on this one.

Ken will have more updates from Rabi tomorrow and looking forward to hearing how our Chairman is going from the Suva end.

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Comment by Ioio on March 24, 2010 at 1:01pm
Stacy, thank you very much for the assistance rendered thru the website. It has been a source of comfort to those of us trying to find out what our loved ones on Rabi are facing during one of the harshest times ever in their lives. With rampant price gouging in Savusavu, would it be a wise decision to buy in Suva and take it over to Rabi. What are the possibilities of getting the govt to assist in waivering the taxes on goods from overseas and providing transportation from Suva to Rabi (or the RCL could arrange for that). If these could be arranged, then maybe we can get the NZ, Australian, & USA Banabans do a food/clothing drive and send a cargo container over to Fiji. Just a thought.
Comment by Flory on March 24, 2010 at 7:41am
Hi stacey...we have managed to get in touch with my in laws family on Kioa that is thru the tfl handi phones so this means that the phones on Rabi Island should be working too.I think it is just for the owners to switch the phones on or to have power to charge the phones. When we call the phones on rabi the announcement we get is the phone have been switched off.I have also heard that some off our people here in Suva have spoken to their family memebers at Tabiang village.I just wish to let you know maybe there would be an easier way to get communication up and working between Rabi and the rest of the rest of the world....You have a blessed day and a very BIG KORABA for your assistance to our people in this time of need....

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