Makogai School Rebuilding Project

Makogai Island

When the Sea Mercy vessel S/V Naia arrived on Makogai Island 4 days after Cyclone Winston had passed, there were only 4 buildings standing (the school building was destroyed) and all the drinking water tanks had been cracked and could no longer hold the precious water they needed. The 200 mph winds had stripped lush fruit trees of all foliage (now brown) and the gardens and farms had been uprooted or washed away. With a population of 79 people, of which 42 are children, they were gathered around the four remaining structures and the children were sleeping outside under a makeshift shelter. The team on Naia delivered food, water and supplies and setup the four ShelterBox tents we were carrying for the children before departing for the next island. Several days later Sea Mercy vessels S/V Shine and S/V Outsider arrived to dropped off more food and shelter supplies and re-stocked their water supplies. With the devastation so great on many of the bigger islands, the attention and resources being directed to these smaller villages to help rebuild will be delayed for many months, perhaps longer. Over the next few weeks Sea Mercy vessels deliver more food, tents and rebuilding supplies and installs one of our 6 solar powered desalination water makers for the people living there. There are few men living on the island with the skills and training needed to rebuild the homes, let alone the supplies to rebuild the much needed school.

Priorities for Makogai

With the return of the wet and dangerous Cyclone Season coming quickly, Sea Mercy is shifting our focus from Disaster Response to Recovery & Rebuilding in order to meet the needs in time. In June, we will be using our vessels, teams and dedicated Landing Craft to assist the smaller remote islands in the Lomaivit Group (Makogai and Batiki). On Makogai, we will be focusing our resources and volunteers on these key projects:

    Clearing Debris - Chainsaw and clearing teams will begin clearing the fallen trees and destroyed buildings in order to prepare for the rebuilding efforts (chainsaws and teams ready to go).

    Rebuilding of the School - As the central building for the village, our first goal is to rebuild the school to cyclone resistant safety standards for the protection of the village while installing the guttering and water tanks for drinking water catchment (the children are currently attending school outside under a tarp). Materials needed: Lumber, metal roofing, guttering, nails, caulking, concrete, tools, etc.

    Rebuilding of the Toilets - Until the human waste disposal facilities are replaced, there is a growing risk of disease in the village.
    Materials needed: Lumber, metal roofing, guttering, nails, caulking, concrete, tools, etc.

    Rebuilding of their Homes - We will transition the villagers from the temporary tent shelters once each home is rebuilt and/or restored.
    Materials needed: Lumber, metal roofing, guttering, nails, caulking, tools, etc.

    Water Catchment & Storage - We will repair and deliver new water storage tanks to the village once the buildings are in place.
    Materials needed: Water tanks, caulking, pipe and guttering.

Ways you can help

We have 10 Sea Mercy volunteer vessels and our dedicated Landing Craft supporting our Lomaiviti Group (Makogai and Batiki) projects through July. There currently is no available government funding for the supplies and building materials needed to rebuild the above school and homes. As a result, Sea Mercy is responsible for the cost of the lumber, concrete, water tanks, roofing, guttering and building tools and supplies (and fuel for the Landing Craft) and responsible for pulling together the talent and labor needed to assist the islanders.

    Volunteer - We need carpenters, plumbers, roofers, and laborers who are willing to join us for one week or longer to help during the rebuilding. Register Online to join us in Fiji!

    Financial Support - The building materials are available in Suva and Nadi, but Sea Mercy has used the majority of our reserve funds to purchase Emergency Response Aid. We need additional financial help from individuals and organizations if we are to purchase the rebuilding supplies needed for Makogai. Please use the below Donation link to help support our efforts:

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