Banaban Voice

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FIJI SUN 4/16/2010
Villagers on Rabi Island are picking up the pieces and getting their lives back on track after the destruction of Cyclone Tomas.
While more than 100 homes on the island were damaged, the villagers have been encouraged to rebuild their homes from materials they have available.
Rabi Island Council of Leaders administrator, Boukanawa Teaoti, said people had begun rebuilding their homes.
Some used materials like wood, scrap metal and iron pieces that were washed up ashore in the height of the cyclone. Mr Teaoti said the people had adapted to the shortage of food supplies and clean water despite the daily struggles.
“We have to start from somewhere and not only depend on help from the Government and donor organisations,” Mr Teaoti said.
“We have stressed to our people to start rebuilding and planting short-term crops to recover from the losses,” he said.
The council has launched an appeal to raise funds and collect food for their people at the end of March.
Mr Teaoti said they were overwhelmed by the response of the Banaban community, locally and internationally.
Help poured in from members of the community and the people were touched.
He said the immediate need on the island were food, water tanks, purification tablets, mosquito control equipment and vegetable seedlings.
“We thank Government for their help in providing two week rations, kumala planting materials and vegetable seeds,” Mr Teaoti said.
Villagers, including the youths, have shared the workload of planting and moving from village to village.

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