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Family Cancels Birthday Party To Bury Toddler

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Family Cancels Birthday Party To Bury Toddler Sera Sakuma Bitu (left) with grandmother Alumeci Ratuyalewa outside their home in Veitari, Lautoka, after the funeral on June 19, 2018. Photo: Peni Komaisavai

We had planned for a birthday party, not a burial, says the grandmother of one-year-old Akosita Liku.

Baby Akosita was allegedly found motionless in a bucket of water at their home in Naiteri, Lautoka, last week.

Grandmother Alumeci Ratuyalewa said yesterday the family was supposed to celebrate the 21st birthday of Akosita’s uncle.

“But instead of us celebrating my son’s 21st birthday we are burying my grand-daughter,” she said.

“We had planned for the birthday, not this. No one wanted this. It is really heartbreaking for us as a family.

“It is not an easy thing to bury your grandchild.”

She said her daughter, Ulamila Vulavou Cagicola, had left Akosita in her care while she took her elder son to the clinic on that fateful Thursday.

As her daughter was leaving the house she had indicated that she had left the milk bottle on the table for her granddaughter, should she get hungry.

This coincided with their usual Thursday prayer meetings, so Ms Ratuyalewa said she left her granddaughter in the house with her uncle, who was sleeping in the house.

“When I came back, I noticed the milk bottle was still on the table and I asked my son if my granddaughter had eaten,” Ms Ratuyalewa.

“He said he just woke up, so we went looking for her.

“As I walked past the bathroom I saw her lying motionless halfway in the bucket, my heart just melted and broke at the sight of my granddaughter.”

Akosita’s grieving parents were too distraught to talk, but had taken to social media airing their grievances and sad sentiments about their loss.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said they were now investigating the alleged incident. She also confirmed that Akosita was declared dead on arrival at the Lautoka Hospital.

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