I MUST admit I had doubted the powers of what is being termed as the ‘miracle life giving water’ of Natadradave in Dawasamu, Tailevu.
A few months ago, a lot of stories abouth this ‘healing water’ had been circulating on social media. While claims of ‘healing’ spread like wild fire throughout the nation — even reaching international shores — hundreds started visiting the village in search of better health, with the mainstream media highlighting claims of how people have been ‘healed’ … but I still had my doubts.
It was not until a trip to the village on October 3 that changed my perception, that maybe, just may be, the stream has a secret component that as has been claimed, ‘gives vision to the blind, makes the mute speak, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk’ and heals many other skin diseases and illnesses.
This week, we take you on a journey of discovery, to find out what is so speacial about this so-called ‘life giving miracle water’ of Natadradave.
This is the interesting bit, in any iTaukei setting there is always a myth, a legend, a song, a meke that will always give some form of explanation or logical reasoning as why things are the way they are.
For example there is the story of the war over a pig, a war which lasted 12 years that resulted in the traditional relationship of veitabani between the people of Rewa Lomanikoro and Suvavou.
There is a myth that explains the reason why there has never been any case of fish poisoning in the traditional fishing grounds of the people of Navakavu, stemming from the traditional relationship with the people of Serea.
There is a myth that explains why the Beqa firewalkers are able to walk on hot stones and why the people of Namuana on Kadavu can call turtles.
However, according to Apimeleki Quminakelo the sauturaga of the turaga na Ratu of Dawasamu there is no myth, neither a legend to explain why the stream, which has over the past years been their source of drinking water, has the ‘healing’ powers.
“I have not heard any story neither did our elders tell us anything about this water, it just appeared out of nowhere.”
Natadradave Village is about an hour’s drive via the Lodoni Rd from Korovou Town, past Ratu Kadavulevu School, the Natovi jetty, Queen Victoria School towards Nasinu Village, the border of the provinces of Tailevu and Ra. The village is accessible via a feeder road which turns left before the Dawasamu bridge.
Natadradave is one of the villages that make up the district of Dawasamu — Driti, Delakado, Luvunavuaka, Nataleira, Silana and Nasinu.
The word natadradave when dissected would mean — na tadra — the dream in standard Fijian or to sit (tadra) in the Nadroga dialect, however, we will take into consideration the dream. Dave — could mean flooding or water gushing and it can also mean a bowl or tanoa.
So to think of it the word natadradave could mean a bowl of dreams or being flooded with dreams.
There have been stories that in 2003, a prophecy was made that healing water would be found in Dawasamu, where people from all walks of life visit the area.
For some villagers in Tailevu North, the news of the ‘miracle’ water could not have come at a better time. Many say the area has been neglected as far as development is concerned when compared to Tailevu south.
However one may see it, one thing is for certain — some way, somehow people have been healed.
I had initially planned to spend a night or two at Natadradave to gather as much stories as I could, but a single day trip was satisfactory enough.
Just as we left the quarry at Dawasamu we were greeted by a long queue of vehicles, from private cars, to minibuses, carriers and buses, loaded with passengers who waited for hours believing that they would be healed from whatever ailment they were suffering from.
A quick survey of the area revealed what I would say an eyesore — rubbish dumped on the roadside. What used to be lush green shrubs covered by dust is now being littered with all sorts of rubbish from food wrappers to food, newspapers and even under garments.
A word of advice — when visiting the area waiting for your turn to be healed, consider your hosts and please dispose of your rubbish in a proper manner. Natadradave was not spared by the wrath of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston, villagers were still rehabilitating when the news of the powers in the water broke out.
As village headman Tomasi Naisoso puts it, every rehabilitation work had to be put on hold to assist the thousands that flock to the stream every day and every night.
It is a 24-hour service that forced the three other neighbouring villagers to give up precious farm time to serve those in search of miracles.
Fiji Times news team itnessed firsthand what can be termed as ‘miracle’ not one but a few, yet there were others that had gone before us.
A 75-year-old Mohammed Khalil had been bed ridden for a year. His wife Haliman helped bathe him and feed him. He entered the shower at Natadradave on wheelchair only to return walking. And according to the ecstatic Wailailai resident of Ba, it feels good to be able to walk again and put on his own clothes.
A 65-year-old Lautoka resident Luke Cula had been suffering from shortness of breath and could not do heavy work, he would take a few steps and had to take a rest. But after bathing and drinking he walked from the pool, uphill to where the bus was parked without the aid of his wife and without resting.
Ulaiasi Ramena had been suffering from a bad cough but was no more. And for four months his aunt, 76-year-old Varanisese McGoon could not walk after two stroke attacks earlier in the year. At Natadradave she was able to stand without any pain, she was able to move her legs and hands and in addition gone was the slurred speech.
Earlier in the day a blind Rotuman woman washed her eyes only to see again.
Mr Naisoso claims that the water could also reveal if a person was practising sorcery or witchcraft. He said there had been cases of those performing such acts doing the unordinary things like being angry and refusing to drink or bath, running around in the village and some even passing out.
The Ministry of Health said if people were getting healed from that water, why disturb it – that maybe something beyond explanation.
A quick search on the internet and amazingly there have been other places in the world that have been frequented because of discoveries of healing water.
In Tlacto Mexico, it is reported that since 1991 about 10,000 people visit the town because it is believed to have the cure for AIDS and cancer. In Nordenau, Germany there have been reports of its ability to cure blindness back problems and high blood pressure.
In Nadana, India a well is said to be able to heal skin disease. There have also been discoveries in Australia, Japan and Turkey.
Anti-oxidants is a very important component and is found in water, according to University of the South Pacific Dean of Science Dr Anjeela Jokhan. Wwhile there is yet to be a study on the water of Natadradave, there is no explanation on its capability.
She said anti-oxidants cannot make the blind see, neither mute to speak or the deaf to hear.
She agrees that there are some things in this world that science can never explain neither prove.
“There is no reason why not, we are mindful of the sensitivities around the water and we need to respect the wishes of the owner obviously but in terms of pure scientific research yes there is the intention of doing it, but should we do it we will not publish it anywhere because we need to respect the owners.
“It could be a physical property of the water, it could be a biological property we don’t know yet we need to actually do the entire test of physical, biological and chemical test to see if it is different from normal water. So it will be very hard to say this.
“Antioxidants is very critical to the body I am a biologist so I can tell you it is very important. How important it is, that’s what gives your body to generate new fresh cells so very critical, which protects you from sicknesses it keeps you healthy so your body can fight all the bad things that you take in, it builds your resistance very strongly, so you don’t get sick as much and you look younger.
“Antioxidants don’t work that way, I don’t know what could do that (miracles), I am a sceptic. I believe in the power of the mind above everything else.”
The villagers of Driti, Vorovoro, Natadradave and Delakado have come together working on a 24-hour shift. There are those that work on the farm during the day, others help around in the village in accommodating visitors while the rest man the checkpoints, provide security and assist the visitors that turn up in numbers.
For the women, what used to be a weekly trip to Korovou or the Suva market to sell their produce is no more. Their farm produce and other stuff are now sold at the village with some pocketing about $300 a week.
According to Mr Naisoso, come Sunday there’s no sales of items and food stuff — they would provide tea or lemon tea, with whatever’s being baked by the women. That would be distributed to all. He said one thing is for certain is that because they are doing this with all their heart, they have been richly blessed.
To those that plan to take a trip to Natadradave, at least while you wait please help clean up their village compound, help the young men pick up rubbish, help put food on their table and more importantly please be patient with them.
I take my hat off for their hospitality and they way they received us, they are one of the best description of Fiji as the way the world should be. As they say the main important ingredient in being healed is faith.
Source :Fiji TimesOnlin. October 09,2016