FLP: People need immediate assistance

PEOPLE need immediate assistance accompanied with assessments, says Fiji Labour Party executive Aman Ravindra Singh.

The Lautoka-based human rights lawyer visited areas affected by flood and evacuation centres in Ba on Monday and said the amount of damage was “devastating” and the state of evacuation centres “deplorable”.

“We do not need teams to be deployed on their own and conducting assessments because this will not bring immediate relief to the thousands of people who have been affected by Tropical Cyclone Josie,” he said.

“What we need is assessment teams travelling in tandem with relief teams so that people receive immediate needs as soon as they are assessed.

“Government has been through three major natural disasters in 2009, 2012 and 2016 — so it should be very experienced and well prepared for emergencies like this.

“The lack of people on the ground in Nadi, Lautoka and Ba conducting assessments and providing immediate relief supplies speaks volumes of Government’s unpreparedness in the lead-up to TC Josie and the three days since.

“It is really sad to go out and see the amount of damage being done, people who have been affected and no visible sign of assistance being offered.”

Mr Singh added the lack of Health Ministry teams was also a concern.

“We have a meningococcal outbreak, dengue is still an issue and not one medical team had visited an evacuation centre in Ba when I travelled there on Monday.”

Questions sent to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Health Minister Rosy Akbar at 9.30am yesterday about the concerns raised by Mr Singh remained unanswered at 6pm yesterday.

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