Labour queries delay in support

THE Fiji Labour Party has questioned the delay in Government’s announcement of aid for flood victims in the Western Division.

Party leader and former prime minister Mahendra Chaudhry also criticised Government for allowing withdrawal of Fiji National Provident Fund savings by members to carry out flood rehabilitation.

“Workers should not be exploited in this manner. It is government’s social responsibility and duty to assist victims of natural disasters,” said Mr Chaudhry.

“The floods that devastated homes, businesses, properties, crops and livestock in the West are believed to be the worst in recent history.

“Government should take the lead in offering relief packages to the hundreds of people who have suffered.

“Apart from providing food rations, Government should also consider cash grants to families who have lost essential household items and personal belongings. It should be recognised that a majority of those who have sustained losses are people with ordinary incomes, barely able to make ends meet.”

The National Disaster Management Office issued a statement yesterday confirming that a total of 39 evacuation centres were currently active in the Western Division with a total of 2244 evacuees.

Questions sent to the PM’s Office on Wednesday afternoon about the comments made by Mr Chaudhry remain unanswered.