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PEOPLE in the province of Ra are slowly starting to pick up the pieces, eight months after Severe TC Winston struck.

For those most affected, their lives revolve around deciding what to do to get a better house or to earn a decent amount of money to assist the needs of their children who attend school.

And a tour by a team from this newspaper of the province a few weeks ago found several families still waiting for assistance under the Help for Homes scheme initiated by the Government. There were some, though, who were able to raise funds to rebuild their own homes.

Navuniivi Village chief Ratu Isikeli Sevutia said there was still great need for assistance in his village.

“For most of us along the Nakorotubu and Navitilevu districts, particularly in the coastal areas, our stories are similar in that we are still waiting for assistance,” he said.

“For those who have the money they are able to rebuild houses while others that don’t continue to wait.”

His sentiments were echoed by Nasau Village headman Inisio Navosese.

“Other than our homes the caves are the only option,” he said.

“There is no other way out of this village other than by boat. We have no roads and the biggest question is whether we will be safe enough in the caves.”

There are families across the district facing similar circumstances.

Nasukamai Village headman Paula Kubu said access to better shelters was their most urgent need.

“Our crops are damaged, that was where we would normally get enough money to help us work on our homes ourselves — that is why we still need assistance. We haven’t received any confirmation of assistance and so normal life is getting by with what we have.

“If we receive the assistance or not time will tell.”