Fiji Red Cross Society is to focus on damage assessment and respond to immediate needs of the 120 households affected in Kadavu by TC Keni
A staff member and three volunteers left Suva in a helicopter to deliver essential relief supplies and conduct damage assessments on households affected by the cyclone.
Red Cross Operations Manager Eseroma Ledua said the team, assisted by volunteers on Kadavu, would hand out non-food items worth $80,000 as this would be useful to people whose homes were affected.
“We have a prepositioned a container in Kadavu which has relief items. Items that will be distributed are tarpaulins, dignity kits, kitchen sets, hygiene sets, shelter tool kits, jerry cans, blankets and clothes packages,” he said.
He said the preparedness of people in Kadavu must be commended as no casualties or injuries had been reported so far.
Kadavu, according to the 2017 Census, has a population of 10,897. But it is not clear what proportion of this figure has been affected. There are 75 villages in Kadavu and nine tikina (districts), each with its own paramount chief and chiefly village. The tikinas are Tavuki (Tavuki), Naceva (Soso), Nabukelevu (Daviqele), Nakasaleka (Lomanikoro), Sanima (Drue), Yale (Rakiraki), Yawe (Nalotu), Ono (Vabea) and Ravitaki (Ravitaki).
Early reports said the most badly affected village was Drue, in the district of Sanima, which is on the coastline of Kadavu exposed to the wrath of TC Keni.
When TC Keni passed Kadavu it was of a Category 3 strength, enough to inflict substantial damage.
Red Cross operations manager Eseroma Ledua said the main objective of the team was to accomplish and focus on recovery and returning to normalcy.
Mr Ledua said the team sent to Kadavu were to verify reports on the ground.
“They are deployed firstly to ensure that lives were sustained through the provision of essential relief supplies and secondly, to conduct damage assessments that could provide society and the Government with a framework for long-term recovery in Kadavu specifically,” Mr Ledua said.
“We have received initial reports from villagers indicating that housing and agriculture are the sectors with the most damage.
“Currently, the University of the South Pacific are facilitating an aerial survey on our behalf, and the data received will allow us to make concrete plans of responses for the next 48 hours.
“Many houses were damaged on Kadavu, we can conclude from the pictures that we saw and phone calls made that shelter (homes) and agriculture bore most of the damage.”
“This indicates that we are putting into action lessons learned from past disasters like Tropical Cyclone Winston and Josie.’’