Fiji’s first climate change village forced to move from sea to ‘promised land’

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Blessen Tom’s feature drone video of Vunidogoloa.

By Hele Ikimotu with visuals by Blessen Tom

Vunidogoloa was the first village in Fiji to be relocated – barely three years ago – due to sea level rise.

The village was in the Cakaudrove province and had backyard views of beautiful Natewa Bay on Vanua Levu Island.

The relaxing life for these villagers was however dampened by the impact of sea level rise.

Flooding was common for the villagers and so they needed to be relocated.

Their new village is 2 kilometres inland and was renamed by the villagers as Kenani (“Promised Land”).

-Partners-

The whole village of Vunidogoloa (pop. 130) moved to their new settlement in January 2014 and now have solar lighting.

We stopped by the old “ghost” village to see where the villagers once lived and also took some photos of where they are now settled.

1. Vunidogoloa’s “front door” to Natewa Bay. Image: Blessen Tom/Bearing Witness

2. Vunidogoloa … now a ghost village. Image: Blessen Tom/Bearing Witness

3. Vunidogoloa … an abandoned home. Image: Blessen Tom/Bearing Witness

4. Vunidogoloa … overgrown. Image: Blessen Tom/Bearing Witness

5. “Slow” … the “promised land” village coming up. Image: Blessen Tom/Bearing Witness

6. Kenani … the new village. Image: Blessen Tom/Bearing Witness

7. Kenani Village. Image: Blessen Tom/Bearing Witness

8. The aid project kudos board. Image: Blessen Tom/Bearing Witness

9. Hillside Kenani.

10. More Kenani houses. Image: Blessen Tom/Bearing Witness

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Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz

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