4 Mar 2016

Half of Fiji houses will have to be rebuilt

6:23 am on 4 March 2016
Rebulding in Fiji after Cyclone Winston.

Rebulding in Fiji after Cyclone Winston. Photo: RNZI / Alex Perrrottet

Damage assessors in Fiji say around half of the country's houses will have to be rebuilt following Cyclone Winston.

A ship carrying aid and damage assessment teams around the heavily hit remote Lau Island group returned to Suva last night.

Alex Perrottet was on board and filed this report.

Teams of builders and engineers say they will submit reports saying many ruined houses were simply not built to standard.

Cost cutting measures and short cuts such as incorrect strapping and flimsy foundations contributed to the extent of damage.

They will recommend the Government call for tenders from private companies who can bear the burden of compliance and build stronger structures.

Suggestions that Fijians return to traditional bures with sustainable and safer materials for when a cyclone strikes have been called unrealistic.

Whole villages in some parts are now preparing to live in temporary tents for up to two years until their new houses are built.