Ba worst affected, a lot to be done, says Kumar

BA was the worst affected by flooding associated with Tropical Cyclone Josie in terms of infrastructure damage, says Minister for Infrastructure Parveen Kumar.

While conducting another round of assessments in the flood-ravaged town yesterday, he said resources were being pulled from other municipalities to aid recovery works in Ba.

“I was with Fiji Roads Authority CEO (Jonathan Moore) and the team from Higgins (subcontractor) and we met with advisory councillors from Ba because they were in a better position to tell us which areas would need the most attention,” he said.

“We also went out to assess the damage ourselves and we can see that there is a lot of work to be done.

“Ba has been badly affected. We have decided to pull all the resources available with Higgins Fiji in terms of equipment and manpower and start with the work that needs to be done, like the clearing up of debris in affected areas.

“We want all of the blocked access roads cleared up by this (yesterday) afternoon or early tomorrow (today) morning.

“According to our initial assessments in Ba, the worst affected is of course Yalalevu.”

He said families in affected areas would be assisted in their clean-up and rehabilitation.

“We have informed families living in this area that all the silt and debris from their homes will be removed and collected by our people.”

Mr Kumar said works on restoring water and electricity supply would take a while.

“We have some problems with the supply of water because of a breakdown in one of the main water pumps so we have engineers at the Ba reservoir and treatment plant to fix the problem but in the meantime we are also carting water from Tavua to supply to affected areas in Ba.

“At the moment we have 16 trucks in Ba carting water.”

He said apart from Nadi, other parts of the Western Division had fared well with TC Josie.

“I have been in contact with my people in other towns in the Western Division and they have informed me that most of the major areas in Nadi, Lautoka, Tavua, Rakiraki and Sigatoka are clear.

“Nadi was badly affected as well but work there has been efficient and by tomorrow (today) everything should be back to normal in terms of water and electricity supply and of course all access will be cleared up by our teams on the ground.

“For Ba, it will take longer for us to get things back in operation.”

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