Agriculture damage cyclone’s biggest impact

By Ulimasao Fata ,

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Fa’i Fiso, 78 of Vaovai talks about cleaning his land after Cyclone Gita hit last weekend.

Fa’i Fiso, 78 of Vaovai talks about cleaning his land after Cyclone Gita hit last weekend. (Photo: Ulimasao Fata)

The damage done to plantations and agriculture remains the biggest problem Cyclone Gita created for many rural villagers.

Grandfather Fa’i Fiso, 78-years-of-age from Vaovai, Falealili said Samoa should prepare for a famine especially since Gita has destroyed breadfruit trees which helped farmers feed the nation.

Speaking to the Village Voice yesterday, Mr. Fiso compared Cyclone Gita to Cyclone Valelia back in the 1990s.

He remembers exactly what happened back in 1992 when Cyclone Val arrived on a Saturday night.

“I can say that Cyclone Gita was much the same with Cyclone Val back in 1992 in terms of strong winds,” he said.

“It was on Wednesday and Thursday we encountered heavy rains but strong winds from Cyclone Gita on Friday night kept our village up late because of how strong the cyclone was.

“It was Friday morning and Saturday night that we encountered the strong winds from Cyclone Gita.

“The only difference from Cyclone Val was that Cyclone Gita didn’t last long.”

For that he is grateful.

Mr. Fiso was doing clean up work around his land when the Village Voice team met up with him yesterday afternoon.

His priority was to fix their cookhouse, which had been destroyed.

“Our banana patch has also been destroyed so we have to try and replant as soon as possible so we can have some food.”

As for the cyclone itself, Mr. Fiso said: “Our whole village was up that morning trying to do last minute preparations when Cyclone Gita attacked.

 “It was scary while it lasted.”

The next day, it was calm and the sun came out.

 “That’s when I knew that the cyclone was gone and we were safe from Cyclone Gita, but we would have been in a hard situation if it stayed longer.

Mr. Fiso added that when he saw the sun rising yesterday, it made him happy.

 “I think it is safe now to start all the cleaning while the sun is out,” he said.

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