Ba

Tukuraki village relocation begins after groundbreaking ceremony

In 2012, much of Tukuraki village in the highlands of Ba was buried by a landslide, killing a family of four. Four years later, the people of Tukuraki were overwhelmed with emotion as a groundbreaking ceremony took place for the new village site yesterday. The site for the village relocation is about 3 kilometres away […]

Nacanieli Tuilevuka

July 22, 2016 9:32 am

In 2012, much of Tukuraki village in the highlands of Ba was buried by a landslide, killing a family of four.

The Tui Yakete cuts the ribbon to officially mark the beginning of construction for the relocation.(NDMO/Facebook)
The Tui Yakete cuts the ribbon to officially mark the beginning of construction for the relocation. (Ministry of Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management)

Four years later, the people of Tukuraki were overwhelmed with emotion as a groundbreaking ceremony took place for the new village site yesterday.

The site for the village relocation is about 3 kilometres away from the initial site of Tukuraki.

Mr. Lavina Jesus, the Head of the European Union's Infrastructure, Natural Resources, Environment & Energy Section pictured with Commissioner Western, Mr. Manasa Tagicakibau, Director Disaster Management, Mr. Akapusi Tuifagalele and Provincial Administrator Ba, Ravuama Nagatalevu. (Ministry of Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management)
Mr. Lavina Jesus, the Head of the European Union’s Infrastructure, Natural Resources, Environment & Energy Section pictured with Commissioner Western, Mr Manasa Tagicakibau, Director Disaster Management, Mr Akapusi Tuifagalele and Provincial Administrator Ba, Ravuama Nagatalevu. (Ministry of Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management)

The Assistant Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Joeli Cawaki and a Delegation from the European Union for the Pacific officiated the groundbreaking ceremony.

The site for the village relocation is about 3 kilometers away from the initial site of Tukuraki.(Ministry of Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management)
The site for the village relocation is about 3 kilometres away from the initial site of Tukuraki.(Ministry of Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management)

The work is being led Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and has been made possible through the European Union Funded Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project (BSRP), implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).

The $600,000 relocation project includes site clearing, landscaping, the construction of homes and an evacuation centre.

The Tukuraki community is expected to move into their new homes by the end of the year.

The village of Tukuraki in Yakete, Ba will be relocated further inland due to the impact of natural disaster on the original location.

tukuraki-map
Location of the Tukuraki new community. (Google)

Tukiraki Village which is located precariously under a steep mountain which means its risk of being hit by natural disasters is a reality for its community.

The Tukuraki community was impacted badly as the village was still struggling to recover from the previous disasters. Without safe dwellings, Tukuraki residents were forced to take refuge in nearby caves during the cyclone.

Based on this premise, the Fiji Government is committed to relocating them and today the ground-breaking of the new village site begins.

The work is being led Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and has been made possible through the European Union Funded Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project (BSRP), implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).

The total cost of the project is $600,00.

Project Manager of the Pacific Community’s BSRP project, Taito Nakalevu said the work helps create effective, long-term disaster resilience for communities like Tukuraki.

NAKALEVU: “Tukuraki Village is being relocated due to its vulnerability to natural disasters and our project is dedicated to supporting the Fiji NDMO to reduce disaster impacts in a real and meaningful way. Tukuraki, like other communities, will not be spared from impacts of natural disasters but this relocation is to ensure risk reductions are made and found based on the best solution for the community’s long term stability and prosperity.”

The Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, represented by Jesus Lavina, participated in the ground-breaking ceremony at the new village site.

Mr Lavinia said the European Union is committed to strengthening disaster resilience in Fiji and the Pacific and current commitment like the Tukuraki relocation project is a testimony to this.

LAVINIA: “It is work like this that really shows the challenges and success that disaster resilience work has in countries like Fiji and other Pacific Island countries. The European Union is committed to increasing disaster resilience in the Pacific and this community has been through the worst impact of disasters like landslides, cyclones and flooding all in the past four years so this long-term solution will help them rebuild in a safe environment.”

National Disaster Management Office Director, Akapusi Tuifagalele thanked the European Union and South Pacific Commission for its financial assistance in funding the relocation of the Tukuraki community.

TUIFAGALELE: “The Government initially had budgetary allocation in the 2016 budget to finance the relocation, however due to the devastation of TC Winston, the fund was rediverted to finance relief efforts.”

The Tukuraki community is expected to move into their new homes by the end of the year.

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