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Mere Liku (centre) with other women of the village of Nasiriti in Fiji are washing the dishes affter a community gathering. Oxfam is supporting them with soap, buckets and other sanitation tools to prevent the spread of diseases.

Cyclone Winston

On Saturday 20 February the largest cyclone to hit Fiji bore down on the island nation. With winds exceeding 230 kilometres per hour, Tropical Cyclone Winston killed 43 people and destroyed an estimated 32,000 houses, leaving 150,000 people in need of shelter.

The cyclone also destroyed water systems, leaving 250,000 people in urgent need of clean water. Many recovering families were dependent on dirty and unprotected water sources. Unsafe water and lack of sanitation essentials meant the outbreak and spread of disease was a serious threat.

Oxfam’s response

Oxfam worked with local partners to give communities access to clean drinking water, and provide sanitation and hygiene products, in an attempt to prevent the spread of disease. Thanks to our generous supporters, Oxfam, in conjunction with our local partners, helped by:

  • Giving 8,780 + people access to emergency water supplies via installation of water sky hydrants
  • Providing 200 families with emergency shelter tarpaulins
  • Reaching 1,688 families with public health promotion and hygiene kit distribution
  • Repairing damaged water systems in 11 communities
  • Training 42 community public health workers in public health promotion and given Oxfam buckets for hand washing stations.

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