Press Release – femLINKPACIFIC
As part of our Women’s Weather Watch series, Alisi Matai, a member of our Generation Next project for Young Women Producers and Broadcasters visited the Bouma Squatters Settlement, 2 kilometres outside of Labasa town.Women’s Weather Watch: Looking North
April 4, 2012
As part of our Women’s Weather Watch series, Alisi Matai, a member of our Generation Next project for Young Women Producers and Broadcasters visited the Bouma Squatters Settlement, 2 kilometres outside of Labasa town.
While Labasa town did not experience severe flooding as in the Western Division, the heavy rains and associated high tides was of immense concern for the Bouma community who reside along the Labasa River.
According to Hem Lata Anju she started packing her belongings and household items as soon as they started experiencing the heavy rains, and as they saw the water levels rising thought about an evacuation plan, especially as she recalled her experiences during Cyclone Ami in 2003 when she and her family evacuated to the Labasa hospital where they resided for a few days.
Her experience in 2003 resonates with communities across Fiji who are now contemplating the destruction of the floods Fiji has experienced throughout the first quarter of 2012: “We had mud to our knees and also most of the things which we owned was washed away and we found some of our belongings caught in the mangrove swamp. We received assistance from our families and church groups.”
From her experiences since the 2003 cyclone, Hem Lata is well aware of what to prepare for and what is also needed during the recovery period.
Yes there are the power cuts, there is a need to secure and store food but she also stresses the importance of storing rain water for her family which they boil for drinking.
Ends Sharon Bhagwan Rolls, Executive Director, FemLINKPacific (www.femlinkpacific.org.fj)