Taunovo Village Headman, Paula Kautamaiwai, said his community was already experiencing food and income shortages due to the Covid-19 lockdown before Tropical Cyclone Harold hit.
The cyclone not only ripped through the community, it severely affected the island's main source of income, the tapa plant.
Rebuilding has been challenging, but Paula describes the community’s approach as a journey back to independence.
“The villagers were thankful of the assistance from the Red-Cross in providing tarpaulins, cooking utensils and water,” he says.
“Now we are working together as a community cleaning family ‘masi’ plant plots, working on one plot at a time, to prepare for the future so that we are not dependent on donations and assistance coming in from outside."
"These donations will add to what we are able to build up as a community with our own initiatives.”
The funds donated went towards water filtration systems, water collapsible water containers, shelter toolkits, solar streetlights, community messaging systems and the recruitment of volunteers.