Looters and scavengers

SCAVENGERS were out in full force it seems in Ba yesterday.

As floodwaters slowly receded, they descended into Ba Town looking for disposed household items that were dumped by business houses.

A group of people picked through discarded furniture, clothes and other household items at a dump site near the Ba River yesterday.

As quickly as trucks emptied soiled items at the site, the scavengers swarmed through the dump.

Ba Town Council CEO Dip Narayan made it clear that people were not allowed to remove items from the dump. He spoke about health and safety risks.

Yesterday, employees of major supermarkets cleared out damaged and soiled items.

The turn of events will no doubt raise questions, especially on the need to police this activity, and perhaps on issues linked to why this is happening.

Sceptics may insist it is a sad reflection of parts of our society and how they are coping with life in general.

Another worrying issue though was the number of looters who took advantage of the Sunday floods.

As the town came under heavy police guard at the weekend, thieves wreaked havoc in parts of Ba.

Residents in Yalalevu claim people took advantage of the floods to steal goods and destroy valuable property in the process.

A resident, Rashia Nisha, claimed a rental car parked near her home had its windows smashed by looters.

She claimed she saw looters moving around looking into homes that were empty.

That was one reason she was forced to remain at home despite the rising floodwaters.

“Even though we were swimming in waist-deep floodwater inside the house, we couldn’t leave because of the looters,” she insisted.

It is difficult to comprehend what goes on in the minds of looters.

These are people who are placing their lives at risk in the face of a natural disaster.

Their forays would have placed more lives at risk if anything bad had happened to them.

The floodwaters were devastating at the weekend.

But as the people of Ba were trying to keep their heads above water, looters disregarded safety concerns.

Such activity will surely put unnecessary pressure on the police at the height of natural disasters.

Looters are unconcerned about the welfare of others. They are selfishly placing their own lives at risk and that of others every time they venture out.

It is unfortunate that we have such people in our midst.

It may not be a pleasant task, but the challenge is on the powers that be to effectively police this activity.

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