Refusing to disappear: the relocation of a village in Fiji due to climate change and disaster

The remote village of Tukuraki in the highlands of the Ba Province in Fiji was destroyed more than 5 years ago by a landslide which tragically took the lives of a young family.  More than 80 per cent of the village was decimated and as a result the community were forced to evacuate their traditional land, at risk of further landslides.

The community have been living in makeshift and temporary homes since and during this time were again struck by disaster when Category 4 Cyclone Evan slammed into them in December 2012 followed by the most severe cyclone in Fiji’s history, Cyclone Winston, in 2016.  This is the community’s third major disaster in 4 years.

After Cyclone Winston the community was deemed a priority for relocation by the Government of Fiji. One of 46 communities urgently needing relocation as a result of climate change and disaster related risk.  As a result the Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project was approached to support the work and the new village of Tukuraki was built to disaster safety standards designed to withstand Category 5 cyclones.

As COP23 discussions continue in Germany the reality of climate change and climate disaster related events is a reality for many in the Pacific with many being forced to relocate or consider the need to move off their land as a result of changing weather patterns.  This is the reality for many in the Pacific and the challenge is significant.  This is one community telling their story.