State of Natural Disaster in Fiji to remain: PM Bainimarama

Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says they expect to achieve as much as they can during the ‘State of Natural Disaster’ declaration period.

Bainimarama says their priority remains to provide basic necessities and restore essential services within these thirty-days and then they will decide on the next step from there on.

“Nothing changes, tarpaulins over their heads – at least they have got this place – this school as an evacuation center. Something I am very grateful about is they always endorse the fact that the kids need to go back to school, so they will go back and have a look at where they are staying – if there are some halls and churches they can use as evacuation center and get this place cleaned up so that the kids can utilize the schools again.

Government officials with the help of international agencies and non-governmental organisations continue providing food rations and other items to those affected.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) advised that Fijians do not attempt to visit relatives that live in areas of Fiji affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston until essential services, such as roads and telecommunications, have been fully restored.

Additional traffic on roads and waterways hinders the recovery efforts of disaster officials.

In particular, for shipping services to affected areas, cargo should only contain relief materials and essential personnel.

The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Permanent Secretary, Meleti Bainimarama, said that, while it was commendable that Fijians wanted to provide help and support, it would be more appropriate to direct all support through the NDMO.

Fijian families need time to clean-up and disaster officials need time to meet urgent needs before it is appropriate to arrange visits.

Any Fijian that wants to volunteer, donate relief items or assist in any way is urged to contact the NDMO.