Following the devastation brought about by Tropical Cyclone Winston, initial reports from the Fiji Government in early March indicated that more than 54,000 evacuees had taken refuge from TC Winston and in its aftermath in more than 700 evacuation centres, many of which were schools. By 26 March 2016, official government figures recorded 361 evacuees in 26 evacuation centres. As no comprehensive survey had been undertaken on the conditions within the officially listed evacuation centres and in other places besides their houses to which evacuees moved after leaving the official evacuation centres, IOM was requested by the Government of Fiji to conduct tracking and monitoring to capture that information. For the purposes of this survey tool, these alternative accommodations along with the official evacuation centres will be called “evacuee sites” or simply “sites”.
Working in close collaboration with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and the Fiji Islands Bureau of Statistics (FIBoS), 32 enumerators trained by IOM conducted Evacuation Tracking and Monitoring (ETM) on 9-23 March 2016. The ETM enumerators were deployed to Ba, Ra, Bua, Lomaiviti, Ra, Cakaudrove and Lau Provinces and were able to survey 309 evacuee sites interviewing key informants such as village leaders and private individuals seeing to the needs of the evacuees as well as knowledgeable evacuated persons themselves.
In the areas where the ETM enumerators were deployed, 309 evacuee sites were located. These include both officially listed evacuation centers which were mostly schools, religious facilities and other community structures as well as spontaneous evacuation sites where people were able to find refuge during the storm or sometime after the storm when authorities began to restore public structures to their former functionality. One hundred sixty seven of these sites were found to be occupied by a total of 7,062 evacuees. The evacuees were concentrated in six provinces (Ba, Ra, Lomaiviti, Bua, Cakaudrove and Lau) but the highest concentrations were found in Ra, Lomaiviti and Cakaudrove.
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