In March of 2012, Fiji went through some of the most severe flooding it’s experienced in decades. It left thousands of people homeless and 11 killed. The aftermath of the flooding would also leave tens of thousands of people at risk of respiratory illnesses and dengue fever.
Hundreds of homes and businesses in towns and villages on the western part of Viti Levu were inundated in waist-deep water from overflowing rivers and streams. Clean drinking water was scarce, and stagnant water increased the risk of exposure to mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever.
Foreign Affairs Secretary – Ratu Isoa Gavidi declared a desperate need for clean drinking water, water tanks and water purification tablets, as well as clothing, blankets, beddings and tents as many homes were damaged and in need of repair or were completed destroyed.
With the generous support of the New Zealand Aid Programme, Habitat for Humanity Fiji launched a response in the following areas:
Shelter: 42 families were provided with cyclone-safe homes. Households were either relocated to flood-safe areas or homes were built on stilts above high-water marks in flood prone areas.
Community WASH and DAR training: All flood affected families and communities under this project received WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and DAR (Disaster Preparedness Awareness) training through Habitat for Humanity Fiji’s Public Health programme.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: 28 rural communities received repairs to their water systems. For several communities this included the locating of new water sources, some of which were up to 7 kilometres from the villages it would service.