Weathering the storm in Fiji

Nadogoloa village is like many in Fiji, there is a stream on one side and beach on the other. For the 117 residents, it was an idyllic place to live. Then Cyclone Winston came.

The Sky Hydrant water filtration system. 

When the storm hit, heavy rain flooded the lower part of the village, while at the same time the tide and storm surges brought in sea water from the front.

Then there was the wind. With gusts up to 325kph, only three of the houses were left standing. As the wind raged, debris from the shattered houses was carried out to sea.

Oxfam staff brought a Sky Hydrant water filtration system to Nadogoloa village to ensure survivors have safe water in these first critical weeks.


Filling the drums with clean water

Samisomi Mara

Samisomi Mara shows us the single toilet for 117 people.

Samisomi Mara is 53 years old. He is the Village Administrator. Hours before the cyclone passed through at 5pm on February 20, the village gathered to assess the situation and decide which houses had the best chance of holding up. Then they took shelter in them.

Now on average, there are more than 30 people living in each of the three houses still standing. Conditions are cramped. Imagine a four by six metre house, with only one or two rooms, and 30 people living in it.

Villagers have managed to rebuild the superstructure over one of the pit latrines. Although it's in good condition, now it has to cover the sanitation needs of 117 people.

Families here grew cassava and dalo (taro), but the crops are gone. As is the case with most emergencies, water and shelter are the most critical immediate needs, but food gardens also need to be replanted as quickly as possible.


Rosi Vakaloloma (26), with the two barrels now holding water for the whole village. 

Rosi Vakaloloma is 26. She has one child, and is the owner of one of the houses that is still standing. Because it is built of brick, it survived the storm. She is now hosting 20 people in her house. Rosi has two 200-litre plastic drums along the side of the house. These two drums are now providing water storage for the whole village.

We'd like to thank everyone who has generously donated to Oxfam's Cyclone Winston Appeal. It's because of you that we are able to help people like Rosi. With so many thousands of people across Fiji and Tonga still in need, we're grateful for everyone's support.


Donate to our Cyclone Winston appeal