Dire need for new storage facility

THE dire need for a new facility to store mobility equipment for persons living with disability was again raised yesterday to eventually replace the existing deteriorating site at the Tamavua Rehabilitation Unit.

Spinal Injury Association of Fiji head of operations Mere Roden raised this with Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the 2018/2019 National Budget consultation in Suva.

While the same issue was raised at last year’s budget consultation, Mrs Roden stressed the existing storage facility at the Tamavua Rehabilitation Unit Ward 3 was in poor condition — a site which has been used for the past six years.

“The roofs leak, we have about 18 tarpaulins in storage that is used by staff and volunteers every afternoon, they have to cover up the equipment otherwise it is going to be a big loss for us,” she said.

Mrs Roden said their efforts to renovate the space proved futile as the site was earmarked to become a national heritage site.

She said they were also looking for avenues to secure a space within the vicinities of Suva as their temporary storage facility, but was deterred with the high costs involved.

The poor state of the storage facility has also fuelled safety concerns, particularly among female members of the various associations of persons with disabilities.

“Operating from the storage site in Tamavua, we are also looking at the safety of those items, there is a need to have a better storage facility,” Mrs Roden said.

With a new space, Mrs Roden said they would also be able to provide a proper assessment area for persons with disabilities.