National Federation Party - Fiji
Massive rehabilitation needed to rebuild lives following Tropical Cyclone Yasa
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Sunday 21st December 2020
More than 200,000 people affected by Severe TC Yasa
Massive rehabilitation needed to rebuild lives
The National Federation Party applauds the display of unity and solidarity of all our people by offering to provide assistance in every possible manner to the many thousands of our people, particularly in the worst-hit Northern Division, whose livelihood has been destroyed by Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasa.
NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad flew to Labasa on Friday afternoon and together with Party’s Vice-President Parmod Chand, are visiting devasted areas.
“It is heartbreaking to see the extent of destruction caused by Severe TC Yasa. We believe it has affected more than 200,000 people and Vanua Levu, where it made landfall on Thursday, is the worst-hit”.
“Assessment so far has shown destruction of unprecedented proportions”.
We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those who have lost loved ones. We also express our heartfelt sympathies to all our people who have been affected in one way or the other by this monstrous cyclone.
In the midst of the severe damage and destruction death, we applaud the offer of assistance from people that escaped the wrath of the cyclone as well as former Fiji residents despite Covid-19 impacting their livelihood.
“People need food and clothing immediately and many people, especially our members, supporters and well-wishers are working towards providing these basic items to as many victims as possible in the coming days”.
“In this regard, we request our two domestic airlines flying to the North, Fiji Link and Northern Air, to expedite travel by people and cartage of emergency goods. We acknowledge Northern Air and its owner Captain Rainjesh San for their assurance to facilitate this worthy cause”.
“In this regard, we also call on the shipping companies to do the same in giving priority to cartage.
“Damage is extensive and widespread. All wheels of government machinery must move consistently in alleviating the pain and suffering of our people. We have seen that apart from damage and destruction to homes and schools, crops, livestock and food stock in homes have been destroyed”.
“We are aware that the Government is establishing the areas that need immediate help. It will be of great relief to the victims if Government transports food, water and basic medical supplies in large quantities to the affected and identified areas immediately”.
It is clear that tens of millions of dollars will be needed in the short term to bring some degree of relief to the cyclone and flood victims. As a priority, we suggest that the Government’s machinery do the following:
Deploy army engineers to inspect and repair badly damaged schools and infrastructure essential for basic services like water supply and health facilities.
Authorise FNPF to allow withdrawals by members affected by the cyclone, to help in the rehabilitation of homes and purchase basic household items.
FNPF should also allow members not affected by the disaster or impacted by Covid-19 to withdraw funds to help immediate relatives who are not members of the Fund like cane growers, farm labourers and villagers.
Approve a house rehabilitation package with minimum assistance of $5,000 to re-build badly damaged and destroyed homes. This assistance must be in the form of cash and not a card or LPO to be used at certain outlets and hardware companies only—as was the case during Severe TC Winston. “Many residents that we have visited particularly in Bua, Nasarawaqa and Dreketi are adamant that any assistance from Government for rebuilding must be cash because they know of the delays, difficulties, lack of transparency and abuse of the previous system restricting the use of cards. It must not be repeated”.
Approve a crop rehabilitation package to assist the agricultural sector. This is now the time for the Agriculture Ministry to walk its talk that we have been hearing for two years in the form of many, many ministerial statements. Seeds, seedlings, cuttings and livestock need to be distributed and we hope the ministry has been acting in this regard as we have been repeatedly told in parliament.
The sugar industry has taken a battering as the sugarcane crop in Labasa and Seaqaqa cane districts have been destroyed. A massive crop rehabilitation package is needed in the form of direct assistance to growers.
These are measures that will significantly help in rebuilding lives and improving our already battered economy. And once again, we offer our help in the form of bipartisanship to Government to facilitate sound and sensible solutions.
Authorised by: -
Professor Biman Prasad