Cyclone Winston Devastates Fiji

Rural Villages Served by Loloma Foundation Suffer Direct Hit, Food Supply Destroyed

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On the evening of February 20, 2016, Cyclone Winston, a category 5 cyclone, the strongest to ever have hit the southern hemisphere, delivered it’s wrath to many of the islands of the northern Lau group in Fiji. Among the islands affected is Taveuni, the home-base of the Loloma Foundation. Also affected were the outer island villages of Qamea and many of the other smaller islands in the Northern Lau group.

As of Sunday the 21st, there is still no communication from the north and it is suspected that most all of the cell towers have been damaged. Preliminary aerial photos taken by the NZ military indicate that there is substantial damage to the area.

As In the past, the most essential needs are to provide the affected areas with water, food and tarps to provide basic shelter. Once Fiji Airways is back in service on the 25th, we intend to airlift some of these basic supplies to Suva where our Fiji Charitable Trust will assume possession of the materials. From there, we will barge the supplies on an overnight journey to North for distribution to the most severely affected Rural areas.

Loloma Partner Direct Relief International7187828-3x2-700x467

The Loloma Foundation intends to call upon it’s first-responder Direct Relief International, who will work with us to provide some of these preliminary basic necessities. Essential food supplies and water will need to be purchased in Suva and added to the shipment of goods bound for the north. We have a support staff on the ground in Taveuni and Matangi who will enable the proper distribution of the relief supplies.

The Loloma Foundation will do all that it can to help our Fijian friends in this time of need. We have funding capability in our reserves to commence the acquisition process. However, we believe that the depth of this disaster is larger than our current capacity.

Help is Needed

We are reaching out to all of you who know and love our Fijian friends to ask for your support. It is a clear fact that all of their farms have been decimated and they will need help until their crops can be replanted. Most of these rural people have no means to “buy” food.   If possible, please help us help them. Any amount you are able to contribute will enable a family to sustain themselves in this time of need.

If you feel so inclined, know that any DONATION(click here to donate) will be used to buy food and distributed by our partners on the ground to the most severely affected villages in the rural areas of Fiji.

 

By Linda Kwasny
Founding Board Member and Project Coordinator, Loloma Foundation

About Author: Bob Sykes

Bob Sykes is a founding board member, Treasurer, and Logistics Coordinator for the Loloma Foundation's medical and educational missions, and he also manages the Foundation’s website and public relations activities.