THE story of the people of Vunidogoloa in Cakaudrove, Northern Fiji, cannot remain untold. Until now, many individuals, organisations and governments have put themselves forward as the saviours of this community, the first in Fiji to be relocated due to climate change. But the painful truth is that the people of Vunidogoloa have been left largely to their own devices to deal with a calamity of proportions their forefathers could not have imagined.
An entire village has been uprooted from the land it has occupied for generations. A whole community has moved from subsistence fishing to agriculture because it has no option. And a generation has ripped thousands of cubic metres of timber from native forests in order to build homes which will withstand the ravages of time and the force of nature. When and as required, village elders are paraded before visiting dignitaries to tell the supposed success story of their relocation with the help of the organs of state. Nothing could be further from the truth.
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