Editorial comment – The weather and our children

Residents of the villages and settlements along Toga Rd struggling to cross the flooded Toga bridge in Nausori yesterday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

IT is good to know that the National Disaster Management Office is working with the Fiji Police Force, National Fire Authority and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces to monitor the weather situation.

Yesterday, NDMO director Anare Leweniqila said only one evacuation centre was open in Navua. The centre at Jokhan Memorial School had 41 evacuees. Of that number, 27 were adults.

They were from Calia Settlement and had taken precautionary measures against the rising water levels from a small river near their settlement.

Mr Leweniqila urged people to clear their compounds of any debris that could cause blockage of drains and waterways which could result in flooding of their homes or compounds.

As we experience heavy rain in many parts of the country, we are reminded that schools have closed their doors for two weeks. That means our children are at home.

In the face of warnings to be safe around our many waterways, as parents and guardians, the two weeks are also an opportune time to relook at our priorities and what we can do to ensure our children are safe over the holiday period, and are prepared for the start of the new school term.

How we plan the two weeks for them may even lay the platform for how they will look forward to the next term.

Do we then allow our children to explore and play?

Do we allow them to grow strong physically, emotionally and intellectually?

Do we allow them to develop, at their own pace into resilient adults then?

There will be differing opinions on what constitutes a fair holiday program for our children.

They could learn to swim for instance, join the library perhaps, visit the museum maybe, learn a new language, or join a sports team.

We still have a lot to learn about balancing education and allowing our children to enjoy childhood.

Let’s do a few things though. Let’s be vigilant when it comes to safety issues concerning our charges.

Let’s be alert when on family outings to the beaches, rivers and the pools.

If you plan to be on the road, plan to arrive safely at your destination. Let’s keep a tab on where our children are.

There will be social obligations versus the needs and wants of our children. What do we prioritise? Parental obligation and responsibility come into play.

Let’s not sweep this obligation under the carpet. Let’s be vigilant as well in the face of the changing weather.

More Stories