Despair and destruction as Lautoka flood victims take stock

  • 16th February 2012
  • 2012
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Massive destruction: Young cane crop at a farm in Drasa ravaged by logs and other debris dumped by floodwaters

It will take a long time for the rural community in the flood devastated areas of Lautoka to recover from the massive damage to their homes, farm machinery and equipment, let alone their crops and livestock.

Destruction of household items (furniture, cooking and eating utensils, white goods, clothes, beddings, linen, books and other precious items) has been so complete that many families are left wondering if they will ever recover from what they describe as the most “devastating flood” they have experienced in their lifetime.

A resident of Drasa No.1 Road who has lived through several floods in the past 20 years, said he was completely uprooted and will have to begin again from scratch. His family lost virtually everything including their motor vehicle and a farm tractor. His house was among those submerged by flood waters.

“A fortnight’s supply of rations and some clothes in the initial days may keep us from going hungry and provide us things to wear but our real challenge remains – providing for our families in the days ahead. We have not received, nor hope to receive, any assistance from the government.

“Everything is so expensive. It will be impossible for us to replace, even in a long time, what we have lost just in a day. People are going through very difficult times.

“Farmers are suffering because of problems in the sugar industry. Poverty is rising as workers are laid off in the economic downturn caused by political instability.

“I just don’t know how we will survive,” said the distraught man who has six dependents including an aged mother.

Mature cane at a Drasa farm destroyed by flood waters