People are crying for help and government is fidgeting
January 11, 2022
National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad said he has received information that more than 4,000 people in over 150 evacuation centres have not received any food rations from government since moving into these centres more than 48 hours ago.
Professor Prasad said he has been relayed by good Samaritans of the pleas for help and support by residents of Sigatoka taking shelter in evacuation centres in the Nadroga province.
He said they are desperate and are calling for immediate help to alleviate the hunger of children and even toddlers camped with their parents.
“Why is the government moving slowly? Has the government’s wheels bogged down in the mud and slush left behind by the floods?”
“On Monday Minister Seruiratu who is in charge of disaster management said officials are gathering disaggregated data from the centres that would serve as the basis for providing the right kind of help”.
“It seems this process is taking ridiculously long and is yet another example of the kind of horrendous decision-making of this government. The people are hungry and need help immediately”.
“It is clear that this government, just like its botched handing of the third wave of Covid, was ill-prepared for any natural disaster despite knowing fully well that we are into our cyclone and rainy season”.
“It is the role of any Government to cushion the impact of any calamity or disaster on the people. This is a social responsibility and a moral obligation of a government”.
“A responsible government would have kept funds in reserve, especially from the few hundred million dollars it has received in budget support from Australia and New Zealand, with the latest aid assistance of $58m from New Zealand less than three weeks ago”.
“A careful planning and budgeting would have ensured the swift mobilisation of government machinery to provide immediate relief. But it shows this government’s lack of vision. All it is prepared to do swiftly is to blame the Opposition for its failures”.
“The picture of firemen and police in Rakiraki using a half-cut water tank as a boat to rescue people stranded in floodwaters illustrates the type of government ruling Fiji for the last 15 years”.
“This government has always wanted to do things alone. It has rejected repeated calls for bipartisanship to overcome our challenges. It has rejected working with civil society organisations or adequately resourcing them to provide help to the people because the CSOs have the widest footprint on the ground”.
“This government must now wake up from its slumber and heed the pleas for help from the people”.
“People want to hear and see their government’s leaders roll out immediate help for them in order to survive the devastating impact of the widespread flooding”.
“And that help must be provided now”.