It was all smiles on Makareta’s face when she received the shelter repair kit from Habitat for Humanity on Thursday last week. Her kitchen was completely blown away when Cyclone Winston struck Fiji on 20 February and this shelter repair kit will assist to fix her kitchen. Makareta lives in Tailevu, an hour’s drive from Suva. She was interviewed in front of her shattered kitchen.
The kitchen is the life of the home for Makareta, her husband Akuila and their seven children aged between 2-14 years. Unfortunately her kitchen was completely shattered by the cyclone.
“The strong wind blew the whole kitchen. The roof and the walls were all gone. Only the sink area and the floor were left,” she said.
The only concern for the 35-year-old housewife was how she would feed her family. “I was not worried about the house but my kitchen. It was a good thing that our house was saved but my kitchen where I spend most of my time was gone. We had put a temporary roof from the pieces of tin we could find but there is nothing to cover for the walls,” she said.
Makareta currently cooks in an open space where once her kitchen stood. She was overwhelmed when the shelter repair kit was handed over to her. The repair kit contained tarpaulins, rope bucket and other basic tools and hardware. “I have found walls for my kitchen,” she said in a cheerful voice.
“I was hoping someone would help us make temporary walls for my kitchen because it becomes very hard when it rains,” said Makareta. The bucket will help store water when they run out of it, as her community uses a spring water source for their daily needs.
Makareta said she would also advise the women in the village to use the tarpaulin as kitchen or house walls as most of the houses in the village were severely damaged. From the 24 houses in the village, 20 were completely damaged by the cyclone.
Habitat for Humanity has distributed 20 shelter assistance kits and four community tool kits in Makareta’s Village.