IT’S a week today after the devastating floods hit Honiara, but Grace Funua is still mourning the loss of her five-year-old brother and four –year-old niece.
While she was able to rescue her sick mother, she was unable to do that same for the two children.
“I still cannot accept that my little brother and niece have gone,” she told the Solomon Star.
“I was the one looking after them the day the floods came, and to lose them in such manner is simply unacceptable.
“This is a loss I have to live with for the rest of my life,” Ms Funua said tearfully.
She and her mum and the two children were in their Koa Hill home last Thursday.
When the water level started to rise below their house, Ms Funua said she could not get her sick mother and the two children all at once to higher ground.
“So I told the two children to wait in the house while I carry my sick mother, who was unable to walk, to higher ground further up in the settlement,” she said.
“I didn’t expect the waters to rise so quickly and the floods to come in such a flush.
“After I left my mother on the higher ground, I rushed back to get my brother and niece.
“But by that time, the floods have came in so strongly that I found it difficult to get to our house.
“I tried to get to the house but the floods nearly took me away. Luckily, my cousin brother was nearby so he rushed in and got me to safety,” Ms Funua said.
As she was taken to safety, she watched their house uprooted by the flood and washed down the river with the two children inside.
“I just cried and cried as the house was washed away.
“I could not accept it. Why do I have to leave the two children behind?
“It was heart-breaking to see my brother and niece taken away in such manner. Why them?”
A week on, Ms Funua said she cried every time she thinks of the two children.
“Life is never the same again,” she said.
Her family was able to recover the body of her brother the next day at the Mataniko river mouth.
But they are yet to locate the body of her niece.
The family lost everything, except for the clothes they wear on that day.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA