In April 2018, the Fiji islands were hit by two cyclones about a week apart. On April 1-2, Cyclone Josie, a category 1 storm, brought severe flooding to southeastern Fiji. On April 11, Cyclone Keni, a category 3 storm, hit the same communities, compounding the effects of extensive flooding and high winds. Eight people died during the storms, and more than 1500 homes were destroyed. The storms also caused landslides, damaged roads across the country, destroyed large tracts of farmland and crops, and caused serious damage to infrastructure.
More than 14,000 people sought shelter in evacuation centres during and after the storms. The damage to crops and other plantations, the main source of food for most residents, meant at least 4,000 households required food assistance. Damage to water and sewage systems increased the risk of the spread of disease, while damage to at least 90 roads meant access to affected communities was difficult. An estimated 20,000 people were in need of water, sanitation and hygiene assistance.
Oxfam Canada worked to provide families with access to secure sanitation facilities and provide emergency livelihood support through the distribution of seeds and tools.
They constructed and rehabilitated 94 latrines, ensuring that 636 households had access to toilets and washing materials that were culturally and gender-appropriate, secure, and sanitary.
They also provided livelihood support—including the distribution of food vouchers—that is culturally appropriate and targets most vulnerable households, focusing on female-headed households.