20th April 01:57 AM
Accurate count on houses affected after recent floods and cyclone needed to prevent abuse of funds - PM
By Vijay Narayan
Friday 13/04/2018
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the NDMO briefing [Photo: Fijian Government]

Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama stresses that correct information on the number of houses affected after the floods and Cyclone Keni is important as he does not want abuse of government funds.

While speaking during a National Disaster Management Office briefing, Bainimarama stressed to the NDMO team that all areas in the Western, Northern, Central and Eastern divisions need to be properly surveyed and information on the number of houses affected is very important.

Bainimarama says it should not be like Cyclone Winston as there was a lot abuse of funds because of lack of information coming in.

The Prime Minister stresses that abuse of funds by government officials will not be tolerated.

He also says that the distribution of rations and even delivery of water should be fair.

Bainimarama says he does not want only people living near the roadside getting the rations and water. He says people living in the off-roads and interior areas should not be ignored.

The Prime Minister also says that the intention is to move out evacuees from the evacuation centres so that the schools can be cleaned up however he says people’s homes are severely affected and they would still need to come back to the evacuation centres for now. He stresses that their homes have to be liveable first.

Bainimarama was also briefed that 8,935 people are currently sheltering in 378 evacuation centres around the country.

74 schools are being used as evacuation centres in the Western Division.

NDMO Director, Anare Leweniqila says they have also distributed 172 cooking stoves with 5 litres of kerosene each to the severely affected homes in Ba.

When asked by Bainimarama on the total number of stoves, Leweniqila said that he did not have the numbers.

Bainimarama says they need to know how many stoves are there and how many are yet to be distributed.

Leweniqila also confirms that the assessment will start in Kadavu by Monday as teams will leave by this Saturday.

He says many areas in Kadavu have been severely affected after Cyclone Keni. According to initial reports, 43 houses were destroyed while 179 were partially damaged in Kadavu.

They are also trying to get confirmation on the damages in Vatulele.

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