Hard luck Tukuraki Village relocates to new site, post various disasters
Tukuraki, Fiji – After more than five years of living in temporary housing, the people of Tukuraki in the highlands of Fiji are celebrating as they move into their newly built, disaster resilient village. The Tukuraki community was devastated in 2012 as a landslide buried 80 percent of the village and tragically took the lives of a young family including a toddler and young baby.
The community residents were forced to relocate to temporary homes as they were at risk of further landslides and in the midst of recovering from the landslide, the community was hit by Cyclone Evan only 10 months later. Just recently the community was again forced to flee to nearby caves as Tropical Cyclone Winston hit last February, the community’s third major disaster in four years.
As a result, the Fiji Government deemed relocation for the inland community an urgent priority and approached the Pacific Community to support in this work. Eleven homes and a community hall built to category five cyclone standards have officially opened.
The $756,000 relocation of the Tukuraki Village to a safer and less disaster prone site was made possible through the European Union and the ACP Group of States -funded Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project implemented by the Pacific Community. The BSRP Project is committed at reducing the vulnerability for the Pacific to disaster and climate change.
In addition to the buildings, the project also provided the community with access to a reliable water sources. The Ba area is known for enduring long term droughts and to counter this issue, the project built a dam nearby and strategically placed water tanks that connect to each household, ensuring the community will never run out of water.
“This community knows and understands disaster but what makes this relocation remarkable is the partnership led by Fiji Government with SPC and the European Union to achieve real, measurable disaster resilience at the community level. We know this new community will protect not only the lives but the livelihoods of the Tukuraki community and we are immensely proud to be a key partner in this work,” Pacific Community Deputy-Director General Dr. Audrey Aumua said.