NFP calls for a State of Natural Disaster

DECLARE a State of Natural Disaster, divert COP23 funds to disaster relief, assist in the rebuilding of homes and prepare a recovery package for the agriculture sector.

This was the statement issued by National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad on Monday in the wake of the destruction left behind by Tropical Cyclone Josie.

Thousands of people in the Western Division and maritime areas have lost crops, had their homes damaged and their livelihood affected because of the extensive flooding associated with the Category 1 cyclone.

The NFP leader also called on Government to deploy army engineers to assist in the rebuilding effort in the most devastated areas.

Professor Prasad said declaring a State of Natural Disaster would enable people and businesses that have been affected to receive immediate assistance.

“Many areas have suffered damage and destruction of unprecedented proportions caused by strong currents of raging flood never experienced before,” he said.

“Most parts of the Western Division are without electricity and water and limited communication.

“Because many rural areas have become inaccessible due to damage to infrastructure like roads and bridges, an aerial survey is immediately needed for an initial assessment.

“Government must establish the areas in the country worst affected that need immediate help.

“It will be of great relief to the victims if Government transports food and water in large quantities to the affected and identified areas immediately.

“Victims who have lost everything cannot wait any longer.”

Professor Prasad added that millions of dollars would be needed to bring some degree of relief to flood victims in affected areas.

“As a priority, we suggest that Government’s machinery deploy army engineers to repair badly damaged infrastructure including schools and essential basic services like water supply.

“The personnel should also be used to help in the clean-up effort after the flood and distribution of food rations.”