Editorial comment | Taking charge

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Vatukacevaceva villagers place large stones in washed out areas in the Nacovu Crossing on Monday. Picture: SUPPLIED

Vatukacevaceva villagers in Rakiraki know too well the disruptions caused by flooding!

They know what happens when heavy rain falls, or when a cyclone hits them.

The Nacovu Crossing, their only way to essential services such as schools, for employment, and health services is affected every time there is heavy rain and floods.

So it was encouraging to see them come together to fix the crossing after it was partially damaged during the recent flooding.

The flood waters are a reality of their lives and have been affecting them for decades.

It’s not as if they have just popped out of the woodworks so to speak.

Faced with years of unaddressed flooding issues, they have taken the initiative to ensure their lives are not disrupted too much.

There was a claim that the Ra Province was set to have three major bridges repaired following election promises in 2022.

One of the three bridges was supposed to be the Nacovu Crossing in Vatukacevaceva.

With that in mind, the effort to do something about their crossing was encouraging.

It was good to see villagers take the initiative to address their challenges.

While there would be attention focused on how the Government, or its relevant ministry would assist the villagers, the encouraging bit is that they aren’t sitting back.

They are moving on, ensuring they can travel across to their town, their children can attend school, and those in need are able to access health services or other services in town.

But the initiative to take control of their lives starts from within. It starts when people take ownership of their areas, and take the initiative to do something about their challenges.

This story comes in the wake of yesterday’s piece about the work of youths of Nanukuloa Village, Ra, who constructed concrete drains in their village to mitigate flooding.

It is the way to go! For many years, the villagers of Nanukuloa faced prolonged flooding from intense heavy rain and cyclones.

They had to clean their homes after every disaster and they had little support to mitigate the issue.

Like the villagers of Vatukacevaceva, it was good to note the effort they put into doing something about their situation.

So we say the initiative of these villagers of Ra highlights the need for a comprehensive strategy that combines community action with government intervention.

Again we say, Rakiraki’s struggle with floods is nothing new.

It has been happening for decades. In fact we have had decades to address this issue.

The question is whether we have the will to do that? There has to be some urgency placed on this!

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