In mid-December of 2020, the Pacific Islands got hit hard by cyclones Zazu and Yasa. The effect of the cyclones has been massive and has hit close to home for us at Kalm With Kava as we work with local farmers in Fiji and Tonga, which were at the epicenter of the impact. We wanted to take a minute to talk about the cyclones and the rebuilding efforts that are ongoing in the Pacific.
About the Cyclones
On December 15th, Tonga was hit by Cyclone Zazu, with winds gusting up to 120km per hour. Then, on December 17th, Fiji was hit by Cyclone Yasa, a category five storm that caused 150km per hour winds, storm surges, and flooding. The result of these cyclones was the destruction of several homes, damage to thousands more homes, and the death of four people.
Cyclones are devastating, and many kava-growing communities in the Pacific islands are relatively poor; facing both economic and infrastructure challenges. As a result, it takes time to rebuild in the aftermath. We’re feeling hugely grateful for the local teams and the emergency teams— spearheaded by organizations like Australian Red Cross— who have helped people stay safe and recuperate. The Red Cross has provided relief supplies, temporary shelters, and facilitated communication so that people are able to reach loved ones they lost contact within the midst of the cyclones. As a result, the islands are rebuilding as we speak.
The Kalm With Kava Community and Farmers
Relief efforts are crucial at times like these, and we are so glad we were able to donate to support the islands and people that are at the heart of Kalm with Kava. We’re deeply committed to sourcing directly from local Pacific Island farmers, and when we can we travel to Fiji, Vanuatu, and Tonga to meet the local farmers. We’ve built strong business partnerships and lasting, personal friendships with our farmers and their local communities. When crises like this strike it’s difficult to feel so far away, and we want to do all we can to support the communities we work with and care so deeply about.
How Can We Stay In The Loop?
If you’d like to learn more about how the islands are recovering so far, Australian Red Cross is a great resource and have information on how their teams are helping with rebuilding.