Tropical Cyclone Winston

Aftermath of tropical cyclone Winston 2016 on Vanua Levu (outside the project site)

Aftermath of tropical cyclone Winston 2016 on Vanua Levu (outside the project site)

Cyclone Winston struck Fiji on 20 February 2016. It was the largest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere.

Kevaka ga sa lewa ni kalou me sa kauta tani na nodatou bula, e sa na kauta tani” [If it is the will of God for him to take our lives, then so be it]” She uttered these words to her family members as they huddled together in a house for fear of their lives on Saturday 20th February, 2016.

Thankfully, their lives were spared as the cyclone passed. But Talica’s kitchen was destroyed along with other parts of the house, her stored food, and crops. Her neighbour’s homes were damaged as well.

The following day was a Sunday and the villagers fished for prawns and fresh-water fish from their forest rivers (still running clean because of the tall indigenous forest remained in tact). They also dug wild-yams from the forest. The food provided a good Sunday lunch, before which, Talica gave a prayer thanking God for his mercy and deliverance by providing them with a forest that is still able to give them food.
— Talica Rabali - Vatuvonu Village (Drawa landowner)

Drawa Forest Carbon Project Honey Spin-off Project

The Drawa Rainforest Carbon Project has coached the local communities to operate community enterprises, so that they can reinvest carbon credit sales revenue into community projects. The first of these is a honey project. This project is delivering a range of benefits, particularly to village women who play a key role in the honey harvest and processing.

It is life changing for me because there are times I just stay in the house. When we hear that it is time to harvest the honey, then that is when I leave the house.

It is good for everyone because, there are times I am scared to meet up with other people but at the time of the harvest, everyone in the village gets to come out and work together, and there, we get to talk to each other.

I rejoice because at the time when the money comes, I know we are able to meet our family needs in times of difficulty
— Lutukina village women - Drawa landowners