Women, children still traumatised

Children inside a tent erected in a corrugated iron shelter at Cogea Village in Bua. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

Six months after Tropical Cyclone Yasa tore a trail of destruction through the Northern Division, women and children in Cogea Village remain traumatised.

Village headman Atekini Nairibuli said evidence of the psychological impact the Category 5 storm had was clearly seen in the way women and children responded to inclement weather.

“We were the worst affected village on Vanua Levu as 32 houses were taken by the flood and strong winds,” he said.

“The women were affected a week or two after the cyclone and even now, we still see the impact in the way they react to storms or their lack of interaction during discussions. Sometimes, when it rains heavily, the children remain indoors, huddled up in bed.”

Mr Nairibuli said there had been times when he’d advise women about results of village meetings and most would blankly stare at him and offer no response at all.

“They are looking at me while I am talking to them but their mind is somewhere else.

“It’s sad because six months have passed and they are still traumatised but we’re blessed the Ministry of Women officials and some civil society groups have come in to counsel us.”

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