The government has spent $127.1 million to assist 37,077 families to rebuild and complete their homes after Tropical Cyclone Winston.
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mere Vuniwaqa confirmed this in parliament after SODELPA MP Salote Radrodro asked Vuniwaqa on any further actions being taken by the government to assist the victims of Cyclone Winston who are still living in tents for over two years now.
Vuniwaqa says 23,985 victims who were affected were provided with either $1,500 for damaged roof, $3,000 for roof and partially damaged homes and $7,000 for destroyed homes.
$86.2 million was used in phase 1 of the Help For Homes Initiative to assist these victims and the building materials have been fully delivered.
3,810 victims were assisted in Phase 2 with a value of $16.6 million while 9,282 victims were assisted with a budget of $24.3 million last year.
772 beneficiaries were assisted through reimbursement of their funds to the total value of $2.5 million.
These people either took out soft loans or advances from their employers to rebuild their homes while the initiative was implemented.
Vuniwaqa says the supply of building materials is nearing completion as per their record however they are mindful of certain short supply and no supply of materials mainly due to beneficiaries being unable to be contacted on time, geographical location and logistical issues.
She confirms that the first phase of the verification of beneficiary against items delivered as per invoices and delivery documents is expected to commence from May 2018.
This will be taken up by a special unit of the Ministry of Economy.
SODLEPA MP Niko Nawaikula then raised the issue that 10 recipients in Taveuni had their building materials taken away when complaints were filed against them and they want their materials returned to them because the DPP has not laid charges in the last two years.
Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the independent audit team is doing the assessments and they cannot tell the DPP what to do.
SODELPA MP Mosese Bulitavu then said that the government’s system is not working well.
Sayed-Khaiyum says the opposition cannot accept the fact that majority of the people have their homes completed and he also says that the assistance provided in the past was only done in selected villages.
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