Blog: First day in Fiji after Cyclone Winston


Flying into Fiji one day after Cyclone Winston, it was apparent the damage was severe.

As our plane glided onto the runway in Nadi, visible in the distance were large pools of brown water surrounding villages mostly covered in uprooted trees.

Driving through Lautoka, power-lines were down for hundreds of metres at a time, while petrol stations running on generators were packed with people waiting for gas.

We slowly drove through one village after the next surveying the damage at each, at one point we thought it wasn't as bad as we first thought, that was before we arrived at Boko.

This is a settlement 30 minutes west of Nadi, a short distance from Lautoka.

Children were barefoot in dirty puddles of water, playing as if nothing was wrong.

As I write this, hens, chickens, and (very loud!) goats roam the place looking for food.

Fijian villages aren't a picture of celebrious living in the first place, let alone now.

Tin homes are now on the ground, with trees flung across properties every which way. Locals are swimming in dirty flood water, oblivious to the sanitation risks.

But biggest issue in Boko is what's lacking. Clean water, power, and for many, food. 

"Now we have to clean up, but we can't because there's no clean water," says Rajesh Nareyan, who's housing people in his small house.

"We have 11 inside this house with no food to feed them, that's including children," he says as the half-dressed kids look up from the floor.

According to aid officials here, it could be another two days before food and water reaches villages like this one, but for these people that's far too long.