ALL developments planned for Ba Province have been put on hold.
Provincial council chairman Ratu Meli Saukuru said the council had earmarked major projects for the year but planning was put on hold because of the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Evan more than three weeks ago.
Ratu Meli said the council's focus was the rehabilitation of residents affected by the cyclone and providing assistance to the government to restore lives and services.
"The council is working closely with the government in restoring the lives of those affected by the cyclone," Ratu Meli said.
"This means all developments planned for the first quarter have been put on hold because we want to focus on rehabilitation.
"All the villages in the province were affected directly and it will take time for the services and lives to return to normality."
Ratu Meli pleaded with the people to start rehabilitating themselves rather than depending entirely on government assistance.
He also called on the men and youths to cut down on yaqona consumption.
"Apart from rehabilitation, the men should now start preparing for the commencement of the new school term.
"It is time for the villagers to forget about the festive celebrations and cut down on drinking yaqona.
"We need to think about the future of our children and we must work together to rebuild the lives of our people."
Ratu Meli also urged farmers to continue planting short-term crops and vegetables.
Most of the ravaged areas in the Western Division are part of the Ba Province including Yasawa and the Mamanuca group.