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Fiji Time: 6:54 PM on Saturday 19 April

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Government vessel to deliver supplies to island residents

Repeka Nasiko
Saturday, December 22, 2012

PARTS of cyclone-hit Yasawa will get their sprinkle of Christmas cheer this weekend when the government vessel MV Iloilovatu arrives at their doorstep bearing relief supplies.

The vessel left Lautoka's Queens Wharf yesterday carrying more than 70 tonnes of food rations and drinking water for villages affected by Cyclone Evan, the category four storm that ravaged the Western Division earlier this week.

The packages include essential relief items such as water tanks, tarpaulins, drinking water, clothes, food items and other relief packages which contain sanitary and hygiene items like soap, detergent, towel, toothbrush and toothpaste.

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama also left for the Yasawa Group yesterday to inspect damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Evan.

A government statement said he led a team of officials representing various government agencies who will be able to identify the assistance needed.

Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki said this was the first round of assistance that would be provided for the villagers.

"After our aerial survey earlier this week, we found that many had lost their source of food," said Cdr Cawaki.

"They can't even eat cassava that was salvaged from their damaged plantations.

"So with this assistance we are trying to feed the villagers."

Cdr Cawaki said a team of government officials who already left for the island group on Thursday would provide information on the worst-hit areas.

"From what we've gathered we were able to collect these food rations that will last them for a month.

"Each family will get basics like rice, flour, oil, tin fish and sugar to last them the whole month," he said.

Cdr Cawaki said the government would be taking a proactive approach to provide more assistance to those affected by Cyclone Evan in the Western Division.

This week, aid from Australia and New Zealand arrived for cyclone-hit victims in the west.

The Australian government gave relief packages worth $F1.85million while New Zealand assisted Fiji with $F2.9million.

The New Zealand government had earlier given $F731,841 worth of aid.

The United Nations Population Fund provided dignity kits, specially prepared for women during humanitarian crisis.