LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - email@example.com
Children and negligent parents
JUST about two weeks ago when in Fiji we came across very heavy rainfall and strong winds.
As a result lot of damages were done to farms and houses. It even cost us two lives.
I was watching TV and saw during that time so many children were swimming in the flooded river.
Some climbed the railing of bridges and jump into the flooded river. That was evening time and the road was very busy.
What if any of them slipped from the railing and was bumped by a car? In this case the driver would be blamed and booked by the police or LTA. There was a story of another place where a reporter giving reports on flood came across these boys and asked if they thought what they were doing was right? The boy only laughed.
I suggest that police should get hold of the parents of those children and take them to task.
Accidents could be prevented through parents alertness.
PREMA NAND J.P
I write in response to the letter of Faiyaz M. Khan (FT March 8) on squatter settlements.
He raises a very legitimate concern that in squatter settlements where people are getting new homes, seemingly their old homes are being occupied by new squatters thus increasing the problem.
The People's Community Network, as partners with government, is responsible for the new housing development at Lagilagi, Jittu Estate.
Our policy and that of government is that those who receive a new housing unit are required either to pull down their old house or provide it as temporary accommodation for those who have to vacate their homes so that further development can take place.
As further areas are cleared for housing construction the residents in those areas need to be temporarily accommodated nearby until their new units are ready.
Thus it will take some time to see all the old houses disappear until the new units are built to replace them.
But the general growth in squatter settlements is of great concern.
The researcher Donovan Storey showed that between 2001 and 2006, 80 per cent of all housing put up in Fiji was in squatter settlements.
Huge efforts need to be made not only in providing sufficient low-cost housing but also in increasing wages so that poorer families can afford decent housing.
Housing is not only a basic right but an essential need to improve family life, assist the education of children and promote a healthy environment.
A person's quality of life depends on having a decent house.
Only then can we talk about improving health and hygiene, educational opportunities for the children, consistent employment, empowering women and beginning small business enterprises.
Yet it seems that a lot of donor funding today is for issues such as global warming, small business enterprises, education and empowering women.
They are all good initiatives but have little meaning or foundation unless people first have a decent house to live in.
Housing is a basic human right and a fundamental human need.
That is why we are trying our best to improve housing for poorer families both in urban or rural areas.
And we want not just to build houses but to build communities of people who work together and care for each other.
Father Kevin J. Barr
I would like to take the opportunity to thank the CWM Children's Hospital staff for their dedication and commitment to providing the best of service to those that use public health services. On February 26 my son underwent a surgical procedure and for any new mother this was a frightening experience.
The staff, however, explained and took us through the procedure.
Our questions were not only answered but we were made to feel that our son was in the best of care.
Thank you Dr Turagava, Dr Timoci and team.
Keep up the great work that you do for our people.
I would like the authorities to see that the companies that sell their products in PET bottles to take responsibility in recycling them so that it does not get thrown in the drains and end up blocking drains thus cause flooding.
We hardly see any beer bottles being thrown here and there because people sell them back for money.
Why can't these companies do the same. If these bottles can be sold back to them for 5 cents then no one would throw them.
It is also a part of corporate social responsibility to see their products doesn't harm the environment.
OUR prayers and thoughts go out to those individuals who have "disappeared" on board flight MH370 and their families and friends.
The chances of any good news seem bleak. However, miracles do happen.
One aspect that baffles me is that in the modern day technology we are able to "sniff" out people as close as within 10 metre radius. Why is technology failing the authorities in this search?
The other logical question is that the so called blackbox of this sophisticated Boeing 777 would definitely have a tracking device. Has technology failed this also?
It is scary to say the least!
Shame on driver
THIS is in response to the letter FT(01/03) "LTA please do something".
In highlight and bold shame on that driver who refused entry to a person with disability on a wheelchair. On top of that his arrogant attitude and telling lies of the route the bus will be taking. What a shame to have drivers like that in our country. Instead of assisting a person with disability a person stoops so low that their arrogance starts speaking for themselves.
I only wish LTA takes this matter very seriously, not letting this kind of drivers get away with it.
They are simply on their post to be serving the general public in transport and no authorities have given them any right whatsoever to humiliate the passengers in any way.
I ask that driver and the bus company as to who gave him the right to behave in such an inhumane way?
Is he special in any way or what? Can the bus companies teach him a lesson on this incident?
We simply do not need such discriminatory minds behind the public service vehicles therefore I urge the LTA to conduct an investigation on the background of this particular driver in detail so that we the general public get to know the reason behind such a shameful act being carried out by this so-called driver.
Unlike Ms Senikula, I also genuinely urge the authorities to please have special buses for these special people with special needs.
To that driver once again you are a big bully who does not deserve to be doing that job as you don't have the sense to help the needy.
ROUND manhole cover missing on the footpath in front of Niranjans Autoport in Navutu Industrial Subdivision, Lautoka. It is a health and safety hazard. When I saw it, I told my friend, "mavoa ga whoever falls in".
GAMES in quick succession, no halftime team talks and the heat summed up what "survival of the fittest" may be all about. Thrills and spills apart, there were just too many games and this somewhat took away the quality that was expected. On the plus side, grandstand tickets were all sold out. Anyway, Ben's pick looks sound.
SODELPA to work collectively with Labour should they be declared victorious in the polls? Politics is indeed intriguing.
PLEASE allow me to share this. We were at the Balawa cemetery in Lautoka and saw prison officers and prisoners stood by as a lone person wept beside the grave that was about to be buried. How sad can that be when only one person attends a burial. My heart still aches when I think about this.
THERE are just some things that cannot be changed even in changing environments. Despite the day getting hotter by the hour, rugby fans came out in numbers and braved the heat during the Fiji Bitter Marist Sevens. Just when the heat appeared unbearable, fans stayed on to watch more games. Tiredness or dehydration did not matter. All in all, this was worthwhile as fans were treated to world class and entertaining rugby.
A writer raises a question on whether mentally ill people should be held responsible for their actions. Can the same question be raised for our inaction? I mean, the actions of mentally ill people does raise a lot of questions about our responsibilities. It's just an opinion.
PLEASE don't wait for hazards to happen. Why not take immediate steps and prevent fatalities? Let our students be safe.
THERE is a recycling paper factory in Suva so you won't see paper lying here and there but there are so many bottles everywhere. Only beer bottles are reused. I hope someone opens a factory for recycling of bottles.
YOUR SAY: Dengue and roads
MANY of us are seriously taking all precautions against the spread of dengue fever in line with the government's anti dengue fever campaign.
But to my disappointment I went to the Lautoka Hospital yesterday morning (7.45am) and within a matter of 10 minutes I was bitten by the mosquitoes.
The usual swelling was visible in my hands.
Then I had a good look at the surroundings of the hospital. It was unbelievable that the overgrown grass from the car park to the entire complex was thriving from our seasonal rainfall.
If the authorities fail to take immediate action on the present state of the situation then I have no doubt the hospital area will be the biggest carrier of the dengue virus.
Already the block clouds are threatening for a likely heavy fall in the coming days and if it does eventuate the mosquito family will surely have a bumper harvest.
NO one in Fiji had ever imagined that a small mosquito could kill people but this has become a reality.
While some would blame people for being lazy and not keeping their surroundings clean others are blaming the Ministry of Health and its lack of awareness about the dangers of dengue.
While this blame game will be ongoing until a complete solution is reached and increasing dengue cases controlled, this dengue outbreak has surely made the general public realise that even the Ministry of Health has been left disabled with the alarming cases of dengue.
Whole of last week Nadi Hospital was jam-packed with patients and to make the matters worse there was no space to accommodate patients who were waiting in long queues.
The hospital did not have enough benches, chairs, beds and even staff to look after patients.
All you could see on the faces of the busy doctors and nurses were frustration and their inability to provide the best medical health care service.
I hear it was a similar scene at the Lautoka Hospital and all private medical practitioners' clinics around the country.
As dengue is slowly taking its toll on the people of the country one thing is certain that our health services are not equipped to meet any outbreaks.
Eight deaths are just too many and I hope this number does not increase in days to come.
Firstly, thank you Mr Voreqe Bainimarama for keeping to your word and relinquishing your position as commander of the disciplined forces to concentrate on your preparation for the forthcoming general elections in September.
However, before the election we seek your thoughtful assistance in the refurbishment of the Levuka roads which you had approved a budget for in your last budget allocation but nothing forthcoming yet or visible on the much needed works as we have several big events soon in the Old Capital and one of which is the Levuka Public School's 135th anniversary and re-union from July 3.
Also, despite the earlier pleas through this column regarding the turn off road to our Bureta Airstrip nothing has been done so far and it continues to deteriorate further to a stage now that it is likened to one of a logging track especially in wet weather and certainly not a pleasant sight for visitors upon arrival to our island.
Your intervention will surely bring action from the authorities concerned.
Also, we have still yet to witness any developments on the re-building of the boy's hostel at Levuka Public School after the fire over two years ago which is just not acceptable under these circumstances and I am sure your thoughts are with us in this regard and again your intervention through your minister concerned will hopefully see some action in place.
I am positive that after viewing the above your usual prompt attention will be given to addressing these issues and do thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration.