Dear Residents and Property Owners,
The good news is we have finally re-established contact with the Estates thanks to the phone and internet service Providers. Here is a summary report of the situation within Taveuni Estates. Here is a summary of the situation.
- All workers and families safe and well no injuries and they have fresh water but food running low on the Island Still housed in the old produce centre and dive shop with some in Clubhouse. Moving back to the village yesterday and today. Likewise no injuries amongst the residents, we have indeed been blessed compared to other parts of Taveuni.
- Village only two rooves were damaged an absolute miracle can hardly believe it. Our Estate Manager Manasa Maba and Team replacing those rooves, cleaning up, restoring water and everyone can move back. That village is a miracle considering it is almost 50 years old but extremely well engineered.
- The management on the Island despite lack of communication started first thing Monday morning by replacing 17 sections of water pipe, replacing pipes and feeds at the natural springs and replacing damaged pipes in the bore pump area. Roads have been partially cleared to allow access where most needed but any further road clearing is deferred until water is 100% restored and all workers and children have proper shelter.
- The biggest problem is the big 1m litre water tank installed in 2008 has collapsed in on itself so suspect it was empty when the worst hit us. The tank is no longer usable so we have switched back to the old system use the main feed tank number 6 down to Tank 4 in Unit 1 with diversion valves through to the South end of the Estate from tank 4 to tank over to Tank 16 on the South. There is an existing pipe running from Tank 4 to Tank 16. The Tank was specially built in Australia with Australian engineers on site with our own men to install at very great expense. We are looking into replacing the Tank and are hopeful that Government will give us tax concessions as the import duty tax was absorbent. Patience will be required as the replacement of this Tank and its construction in Australia and shipping to Taveuni will be a very long exercise and funds will need to be found.
- All expat buildings have suffered some minor damage but all be easily repairable. For example John Davies RAIYAWA had its sea side windows blown in and the Winters new home lost part of its roof. The new resort evidently stood up to it brilliantly and is open for business.
- The airport is operating and we are using flights to send essential equipment to the Estate. The road from the airport to Taveuni Estates is open. Road access to Vuna on the South is not yet possible and Vuna lost something like 140 homes out of 160.
- Country Club in need of big repairs as well as the 3rd and 4th holes on the course. The Estate was pounded by 20 foot seas for long periods and therefore the Marina wall was completely destroyed for the second time. This, however, will not stop the dive boats operating in the interim while we look to solving the problem.
- Rumours say that repairs to one of the Jetties to allow ships to get to the Island which must have to be Governments main priority for Taveuni as food supplies which are very low as is fuel supply which will soon run out completely making it difficult for the Estate to operate generators, bore pumps and vehicles. The following websites will give you more updates and I have included one http://streema.com/radios/Radio_Fiji_GOLD for English news which are broadcast every hour on the hour.
Sadly this letter is like the proverbial Parsons Egg being GOOD in parts bad in others. All up we are certainly better off than other parts of the Island and Country as a whole where the death toll is now at 42 and climbing with many people injured as well. There will be more frustrations to come with the food shortages, fuel shortages, lack of shipping services and time required to complete the repairs.
I can’t finish this letter without extending our sincere thanks to our dedicated work team as well as residents who have shown such wonderful assistance to others and the Estate as a whole. To mention a few in particular I have heard about, Colin Caine’s, Lee and Annie Jones, Richard and Julie Seidman, Carl and Muriel Fox, John and Karen Davies and any others I have not heard about personally.
Peter Stinson and Team