Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On
Lessons from the Floods
Tavioka (cassava) is getting very scarce in Lautoka. But we have switched to taro, dalo ni tana and green bananas for our meals and we are doing well. The scarcity of cassava, I am told, is because of the factory on Ra. They are buying the commodity at a very good price and the famers have chosen to go that way.
I say – good one, because if it benefits the people then so be it. And we have switched to other root crop and uto (Breadfruit) will soon be in season.
Anyway, I have been travelling all around Nadi, Lautoka and some parts of Ba. Just after the floods we began our tour to assess damage done to farms and what the farmers needs were. The first flood happened in January and then another one in March. And then there was a heavy down pour in April that washed away much of the vegetables that had just been planted. We did our bit distributing seedlings, seeds, farm implements and fertilizer. It is now September and the markets are flooded with vegetables. Tomatoes are so cheap now.
Many organizations reached out to assist farmers and we are back on our feet again. This shows that many farmers did not wait for assistance but helped themselves. The assistance that came for outside was a bonus. There are still some farmers who are struggling and I hope we will get to them soon.
But to all the organizations that reached out to assist – thank you very much. And to the farmers who started all over again with out initial assistance, you are inspirations.
We have learnt a lot from the floods and one thing I have to say is that creeks in the hills of Lautoka must be cleared, if not any little rain will cause flooding. We will begin by assessing what we can do.
Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.