Schools in the Western Division sustained heavy damage from Cyclone Evan last week.
The Raviravi Sangam School was completely demolished by the hurricane-force winds.
Cyclone-ravaged Raviravi Primary School
All three classroom blocks were blown away as well as the staff quarters. The school which caters for 140 primary school children and a kindergarten will have to be completely rebuilt.
At Sabeto both the secondary and primary schools suffered substantial damage when the roofs blew off classroom buildings leaving school facilities and furniture exposed to the elements.
Roof-blown Sabeto Primary School
Sabeto villager trying to fix the roof on his house. Most houses in Sabeto had their roofs blown off.
As of today, substantial areas across Western Viti Levu, from Ra to Nadroga, dont have electricity.
Power has still not been restored to some 40% of the Lautoka city area. Most of the rural hinterland of
Nadi such as Mulomulo, Korovuto, Meigunya, Tunalia, Sabeto don’t have power.
Residents of these settlements including Johnson Road in Lautoka which took the brunt of the fury of
Cyclone Evan, say they have not received any relief rations to date.
In Sigatoka while damage to properties has not been serious, vegetable farms in the Sigatoka Valley
area have been virtually wiped out.
Much of the cane crop in the area was flattened. At a rough estimate some 35% of the cane crop suffered
Damage to Cane Crop
A flattened cane field in Sabeto
Damage to cane crop in the Lautoka and Rarawai mill areas is estimated at between 35-40%.
“It is impossible to carry on with cane farming,” said Guru Dayal, a cane farmer in the Nawaicoba sector.
This is the third disaster this year, he said referring to the cyclone.
“We were struck twice earlier this year by devastating floods which damaged about 15% of the crop.
This time, I have lost about 25% of my cane with broken tops – this damage is irreversible.”
Many other cane farmers have suffered a similar fate.
The sugar industry is suffocating and may not last long unless government provides substantial crop
rehabilitation grant as was done by the Chaudhry Government in 1999/2000,” said Mr Dayal.