Emergency Disaster Relief for Moturiki Fiji

by Corals for Conservation
Emergency Disaster Relief for Moturiki Fiji
Emergency Disaster Relief for Moturiki Fiji
Emergency Disaster Relief for Moturiki Fiji
Emergency Disaster Relief for Moturiki Fiji
Emergency Disaster Relief for Moturiki Fiji
Emergency Disaster Relief for Moturiki Fiji
Emergency Disaster Relief for Moturiki Fiji
Emergency Disaster Relief for Moturiki Fiji
Emergency Disaster Relief for Moturiki Fiji
Emergency Disaster Relief for Moturiki Fiji
Emergency Disaster Relief for Moturiki Fiji
Emergency Disaster Relief for Moturiki Fiji
Emergency Disaster Relief for Moturiki Fiji
Emergency Disaster Relief for Moturiki Fiji
Timoci with new Niubasanga chicken house.
Timoci with new Niubasanga chicken house.

Severe cyclone Winston hit Moturiki one year ago in March. After the initial relief we provided through GlobalGiving, which including three chain saws and emergency supplies, we faced the dilemma of how to provide recovery justly to the entire community rather than to one or two families.  We made the decision to focus on food security and getting people back to sustainable livelihoods, so to save precious resources, the relief efforts have for the most part been merged with our ongoing Happy Chicken project, but with extra support with mterials and feed given than to communities in non damaged areas. The following report is from our community officer, Simione Koto.

Daku Village, Moturiki

We are sad to report that Kasa, a shining example to the community and the facilitator of the project in Daku, passed away in January from complications of stress- high blood pressure and diabetes.  Kasa had completely lost her beautiful cement block home due to the big waves that swept into the village a year ago. She and her family were slowly rebuilding a simple home while continued to live in a tent.  Conditions are still hard in the communities and the chickens were one of Casa's few joys in life, and she was very proud of her chickens, which had grown and had just begun to lay eggs. Kasa's husband Jone and the three children now look after the chickens.  The family was provided a mobile chicken house to move around but they still need to build a proper chicken house using local resources.  They need assistance with chicken wire to build a bigger chicken house as they are overcrowded in their current chicken and they need bigger space to move around. This is now being addressed.

Niubasaga Village

Catake and Iva were given 24 three-week old chickens, now 20 survived and are close to laying eggs.

Naicabecabe Village

Miri looks after the chickens with the assistance of her husband. Chickens are healthy and big and they are close to laying eggs.

But she built a bigger chicken house but needs to complete it. She need to use local resources but need some chicken mesh wire to complete chicken house.  Women in the village can learn from Miri and obtain their own chickens if needed.   Need assistance with chicken feed to complement local food.  Miri can buy her own chicken feed when her chickens start laying eggs.

  • Need to build a bigger chicken house so chickens can move around and eat greens and compost.
  • Women from the village can learn from Miri and obtain their own chickens when needed
  • Need to communicate and seek assistance from other women that are raising chickens.
  • Miri’s house is located away from the village so threat from dogs and cats is not a problem but still need to fence chicken house where chickens can roam and eat freely.
  • Use of local resources and left over materials like at Caqalai is encouraged.

Caqalai Island

The chickens in Caqalai are doing very well and there are now 20 layers and 17 roosters. The facilitator, Kolo, had built a proper chicken house using lots of local resources like coconut leaves and waste timbers. They are now collecting 2 to 3 dozens of eggs every day. They are planning to sell or eat some of their roosters and keep enough for breeding. The community is now buying less eggs from Nausori as they have a supply from their own chicken farm. They have named their chickens using local names. One roster is called Ravouvou ni Burotukula. Caqalai Island a proud to their Happy Chicken Project as it has helped provide meals and they plan to have more happy chickens in the future.

Koto's Recommendations:

  • Provide chicken fence wire to complete chicken houses to all sites.
  • Encourage the use of local resources old roofing irons, timber, coconut leaves as Caqalai Island used.
  • Have follow up discussions with the women’s group on how they can support each other and learn from the project.
  • Provide older chickens so that chances for survival is higher compared to younger chickens.
  • Happy chickens for Uluibau School to be supported and managed by the school teachers. Children can assist and learn from managing the chickens on a daily basis.                                                  
Miriama of Naicavecabe Village with her chickens
Miriama of Naicavecabe Village with her chickens
Kolo with Caqalai Chicken Eggs
Kolo with Caqalai Chicken Eggs
Kolo with his ''Happy Chicken Palace''
Kolo with his ''Happy Chicken Palace''
Casa's husband Johne now tends the chickens
Casa's husband Johne now tends the chickens
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Happy Chickens
Happy Chickens

The four communites of Motutiki that we are focused on with the Hurricane Winston disaster relief and recovery project and that were trained in the Happy Chickens livelihood project, continue with the work in their communities.  Over three thousand dollars of materials for chicken houses have so far been purchased, and sent out, build with the contribution of local labor.  Three hundred chicks were sent, and now the chickens have begun laying and are providing high protein food to the communities. 

Mr. Simione Koto has visited the four Moturiki communites twice since our last report to folow up on the project. He reports that two of the village communities are doing much better than the others, and this is due to the training that community members received at the Sigatoka workshop.  Women have been key to project success. 

We are now considering how best to expand and improve on the project based on these initial lessons learned, but again we have decided to focus on building and restoring livelihoods rather than helping repair houses, which people are getting support from elsewhere, although we did initially send three large chainsaws, with which they continue to mill felled trees into timber with for rebuilding.  

We recently received the tragic news of the death of Mrs Kasa Dilo, our project leader in Daku village.  She was a key mover of the project.  Her health was suffereing from the stress of the disaster, as concrete home had been completely swept away by the waves in the hurricane last year, and she suffered from high blood pressure and diabetes, complicated by the stress of coping wth all the damage and destruction.  We have yet to visit her husband Johne and the family fro condolences and to ensure that the work continues in the village in her absence.  She will be greatly missed, but we must ensure project success for the sake of the community.  

Thank you again for all that you have done to help make this project a success- touching the lives of so many in need.  It is not always so easy, so please remember us and of course these gentle island communities in your thoughts and prayers.     

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Kolo and Austin Open the Happy Chicken Palace
Kolo and Austin Open the Happy Chicken Palace

Bula (hello) to all of our supporters!

Continual progress is being made and the communities are slowly getting themselves back on their feet.  While many continue to live in tents, they do have food and clean water now. Mostly they are helping each other.  The sweet potatoes are growing and coconuts are healing and beginning to bear again.  As I reported last time, we decided to focus on food security over building materials, in order to make better and more equitable use of limited funds.

We sent materials for four mobile rearing pens, which were put together on site, and the 300 chicks we initially sent are already out foraging, and so we can send more chicks as soon as the communities tell us they are ready.  We have had to send some feed, but the communities are becomng more self sufficient as they learn to make feed out of local resources. We are now growing morniga tree seedlings at the farm- to bring to the communities soon.  

Last month we sent materials for a chicken house for the Moturiki primary school, but we don't yet have enough reources to help the other three villages with this, so they are making do with damaged roofing iron and timber salvaged from the piles of hurricane generated rubble.   Koto our communtiy officer has recently viited the comunities for follow up and we will be posting that information as it comes in.  

We do have a great example of a local materials chicken house, with Global Vision International, the UK based volunteer group stationed on Caqalai island (Moturiki District).  Several from GVI were trained in Happy Chicken methods five months back, and they have raised up a hundred chicks to adulthood and are now getting increasing numbers of much prized eggs.  GVI is working wih their volunteers in the communities on issues of health, sanitation, and recontuction, and we are working with them. They recently opened up their "Happy Chicken Palace", a wonderful and creative chicken house and coop, with access to foraging.  The photos show that event, wtih community chiefs invited and with me a chief guest to cut the ribbon!  Great fun and good food too!   GVI Fijian staff in particular are educated in the happy chickens to the point where they can help with problem solving and advancement in the communitie.  Kolo and Taione are particularly shining stars in the project. 

Thanks again for your kind and generous support,

Loloma bibi,

Austin        

Chickens in their palace!
Chickens in their palace!
Beautiful happy chickens
Beautiful happy chickens
Ready for ribbon cutting ceremony
Ready for ribbon cutting ceremony
Ribbon cutting with Austin as chief guest
Ribbon cutting with Austin as chief guest
Taione Delai addressing the UK Moturiki volunteers
Taione Delai addressing the UK Moturiki volunteers
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Dear friends and donors,

Bula from the Fiji Islands. We share with you the lastest update on our project.  

We initially purchased and distributed three heavy duty chain saws, which were shared among the community members to clear the downed trees, and then the saws were used to mill fallen timber trees into 2x4s and 2x6 lumber for use in rebuilding houses.  While this work sontinues, many community members continue to live in tents.  Encouragingly, government has promised housing reconstruction assistance, and the farms are once again productive.  

In our work to provide assistance to Moturiki, we have been confronted with the problem of how to best use the donated funds to help the disaster hit villages of Moturki in an equitable manner. The funds could be all used to rebuild a single house or two, but that would be very limited in scope and might cause conflict. Therefore we decided to focus on the rehabilitation of livelihoods for the community.

For our first activity in that stategy, seven participants were recently selected from four villages to attend a "Happy Chicken" workshop at our Sustainable Livelihoods Farm in the Singatoka Valley August 10-13.  While at the farm the four women and three men first got a good introduction to agricultural based livelihoods and possibilities for permaculture and shde crops on the island, including Cacao, which was followed by the chcken workshop and learning how to raise free range, village-adapted chickens for egg and meat production. 

The participants, including a village carpenter, designed two model chicken houses after studying the various small chicken houses at the Sustainable Livelihoods Farm and made a list of materials needed; a larger sized one, with the capacity of 150 chickens, and a smaller sized house with the capacity of 75 chickens. The walls of each chicken house will be made of roofing iron damaged during the cyclone.  

Five mobile rearing pens were also prepared by the paricipants, one each for the four villages, and one for a school chicken project.  The farm has hatched and is raising twenty dozen chicks to the 3-4 week stage for Moturiki, and they will be sent out the first week of September.  An additional twenty dozen will be provided in mid October, after the first lot graduate into their permanent house.  

The key points of the Happy Chicken chicken farming method is to protect the baby chicks from predators within a mobile rearing pen, which is moved daily to a new position over the grass, training the chicks to forage on wild feeds. The second key point is to provide a strong weather-resistant house to get the chickens out of the trees and into shelter from rain and storms, as well as to provide a safe and consistent place for the hens to lay their eggs. The main knowledge needed was how to train the chickens to sleep in the their house and to lay their eggs in the nesting boxes, which the participants learned well.  Once the chickens are trained, they are typcally let out all day long for foraging putting themselves to bed on ther roosts every evening.  When the hens feel the urge to lay an egg, they know exactly where to lay it!  Using this method, eggs can be easily collected for use and sale and egg production soars and breeding is much better controlled.  

More updates on this positive turn of events will be forthcoming.

   

        

       

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Dear Donors and supporters,

A first matter of our relief work was the massive clean up that was required: trees blocked all the village footpaths and trails between the villages (there are no cars on Moturiki), and trees had also smashed into houses.  During our first visit, the communities requested chain saws, so we returned to Suva and bought three heavy duty excellent quality "Stihl" chain saws and distributed one each to the three villages.  We overspent the budget badly, but thankfully the funds came in later from your donations!  

Uluibau village borrowed the other two saws and used them to mill timber for reconstruction of houses, using the trunks of the felled trees- in particular the local "vesi" timber which is so strong and insect proof.  Many homes have now taken shape, with local timber and recycled tiber and with donations of roofing iron and nails from international aid agencies through the Fiji Government.  This has allowed us to place our focus on agricultural restoration, which was not getting any support from other agencies, rather than on building materials. 

Thus far we have been able to provide much needed sweet potato cuttings (a short three-month crop), pumpkin seeds, and peanut seeds to the villages.  We have also ordered and paid Fiji Agriculture for the transport and procurement of ten thousand improved coconut seedlings for rehabilitation of the damaged coconut plantations, which should arrive from Taveuni later this month. 

We also have a strategy to focus on small scale home poultry production, as we have additional resouces in our other Global Giving project:  Happy Chickens for Food Security and Environment.  We are now plannig a workshop for women from Moturiki Island, Tailevu province, and Koro Island on Happy Chickens for the disaster areas.  

Thanks again for your continued support!  

Austin, and the Corals for Conservation team

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Organization Information

Corals for Conservation

Location: Samabula - Fiji
Website:
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Project Leader:
Austin Bowden-Kerby
Samabula, Fiji

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