‘Food rations to be provided to those affected’

ABOUT 6000 people in Ba were affected by the Easter weekend flooding, says Ba district advisory chairperson Yogesh Navind Chand.

He said one of the biggest challenges for advisory councillors was getting food and clean water supply to distribute to affected residents of the Sunday floods.

“It’s a big concern for us but we have been assured that urgent food rations would be given to people who need it most,” Mr Chand said.

“People of Yalalevu and Votua have been badly affected. Some people in Koronubu Flats and parts of Veisaru were also affected.

“Because of flooding, most of the bridges and roads have been damaged and we have informed relevant authorities about the places that were damaged.

“Toge and Balevutu were affected as well because most of the houses were under water during the flood.”

Mr Chand and other advisory councillors from Ba met Minister for Local Government, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport Parveen Kumar, Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya and Assistant Minister for Agriculture Viam Pillay.

He said they shared their concerns and highlighted immediate needs.

“It was after the meeting that we were assured food rations would be provided to those who were badly affected by the floods before moving to other areas.

“Agriculture assessments are also being carried out but assistance for that would come later.

“The number of people affected could be between 6000 and 6500.”

Mr Chand said water was also another issue but residents have been carted supply from the Water Authority of Fiji.

Mr Kumar said 16 trucks had been deployed to Ba to supply water to affected people.

He said water carting would continue until supply was fully restored.

Flooding associated with Tropical Cyclone Josie swept through most parts of the Western Division on Sunday with Ba being one of the worst affected areas.