Abuse of funds

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Picture: FT FILE

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Picture: FT FILE

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has warned government officials that he does not want a repeat of abuse of funds like what happened in the country after Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016.

Mr Bainimarama made the statement after confirmation from the National Disaster Management Office director Anare Leweniqila that 43 houses were destroyed on Kadavu while another 179 were partly damaged during Severe Tropical Cyclone Keni.

Mr Leweniqila said this was the data from an initial assessment carried out by government officials stationed on the island.

He, however, said the number was likely to increase as officials had not covered the whole island because some places were inaccessible.

Mr Bainimarama said information about the houses damaged was very important.

“It shouldn’t be like Winston where there was a lot of abuse of funds because of the lack of information that came out of Winston,” Mr Bainimarama said.

The PM also expressed his concern about complaints from some victims of the recent floods who were not receiving water supply.

Mr Bainimarama said government officials should be mindful that abuse related to the distribution of food rations at such a time would not be tolerated.

“Some people have been calling me that they have not received any water. It’s like the drivers decide where the water trucks go to.

“I don’t want to hear that, that is abuse of authority by the drivers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Leweniqila said officials on Kadavu visited the villages they had not been to yesterday via boat.

“They haven’t reached Nabukelevu because of the road access, they’ll go by boat today to go and see,” Mr Leweniqila said.

“Agriculture teams are working to look at the food and water situation on Kadavu right now. Right now we believe that the whole of Kadavu would have been affected by TC Keni. We need to have the deployment just to get the level of the extent of damage at individual community level,” he added.