Termites bring roof down

Dhurup Chand shows the damage done to his house by termites at Evans Street Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND

A LAUTOKA man says he is grateful that no one in his family was injured when his roof caved in last Saturday as a result of termite infestation.

Dhurup Chand, a resident of Evan St, said although no one was hurt, the experience had traumatised his family.

“It was about 4am when we heard the sound of roofing iron bending, it was so loud that it woke everyone up, we all rushed outside because we thought the whole house was coming down,” the 52-year-old said.

“Three quarters of my roof and ceiling are gone. “We had to move all our stuff into one room and we are trying our best to keep our home dry while we contemplate what to do next.”

Mr Chand, a taxidriver, lives in the house with his wife, two sons and a daughter-in-law who is six months pregnant.

“The damage has been estimated at $35,000 and I am very disappointed that there is no government assistance for houses affected by termites.

“This is like cyclones, it is unexpected and there should be a budget for people who have been affected like me.”

Mr Chand claimed Biosecurity Authority of Fiji officers that visited his home, did not have chemicals to kill and control the Asian subterranean termites (AST).

“What they sprayed did not have the chemical smell, it was like water,” he claimed.

In response to queries from this newspaper, BAF refuted the claims made by Mr Chand.

“BAF is provided with annual government grants to assist in the control and containment of AST activities within the declared zones and in the last four years, BAF has been allocated $545,000 for this program,” said BAF in a statement.

“For the 2018-2019 financial year, $560,000 has been approved and will be used for containment and control efforts.”

BAF said the AST project was directly funded by Government and the fund allocated were used to purchase and treat infested homes with a chemical called ‘termidor’ which was readily available.

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