Ministry staff work round-the-clock

A crowd gathered inside the HOMES-CARE assistance tent to apply for the scheme. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

GOVERNMENT officials distributing HOMES-CARE assistance cards in Sigatoka were on their feet for 24 hours, processing applications from about 7800 residents. The sleepless in Sigatoka over a 24-hour period included the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa.

When The Fiji Times team arrived at Lawaqa Park about 10am yesterday, a large crowd was outside the park, frustrated that the gates had been closed.

“We had advertised Sigatoka for one day but because of the crowd that turned up on Wednesday, we had to go beyond that day,” she said.

“You can see our staff have been working for more than 24 hours trying to clear out the crowd that was in a queue right through Lawaqa Park. “We had people coming in right up until 2am and we just managed to get everybody in and give them their numbers before we had to close the gates. “That is why we were not able to go to Nadi (yesterday). We were still trying to clear out people that lined up here in Sigatoka.”

She said she was grateful for the commitment shown by the ministry staff members which included the permanent secretary and directors.

She said those who missed out could go to the next HOMES-CARE centre.