Iosua Iakopo lives in fear of the Maagiagi River.
The unemployed 25-year-old is from the village of Vaivase-Uta and for more than 20 years, floodwaters have damaged their land. The river channel has widened, now nearing their home.
His main concern is his 75-year-old mother, whom he looks after.
He is pleading with relevant authorities for the Vaisigano wall to reach their residence to avoid floodwaters entering their compound.
“Every time the river bursts, we are the people who get affected. We have been living here for many years now and every time there is a cyclone, this has been the challenging experience for us.
“The biggest challenge for us is the floodwaters reaching where we live. Luckily it does not come into our home because the foundation of our house is high.
Mr. Iakopo shared: “It is just me and my mother who live here. I have had this conversation with my mother countless times that there should be a seawall built around here.
“It is the only way to block the floodwaters from entering our compound. With the changing weather patterns and everything that surround us, we will never know how often in a year there would be a cyclone.”
As the youngest of 10 children, he is responsible for his mother’s welfare and their land.
There have been many problems that he faces because of the river bursting and having their house near the river does not help.
“There is so much debris that has been carried by the floodwaters and it is stored up here where we live. There is supposed to be something that is done about this.
“During past cyclones and floods, rubbish such as nappies have been washed up to where we live. This is very unhygienic and I have to keep our compound clean to prevent different diseases mosquito related diseases.”
His mother is his main priority.
“I am doing all of this because of my mother. My older siblings have left me responsible for looking after our mother. They have all moved overseas and they are the ones who financially support us.”