11 Apr 2007

Fiji flood and cyclone victims seek more help

10:00 am on 11 April 2007

People living in remote areas of Fiji's second island Vanua Levu who were hit by Cyclone Cliff last week and floods last month are reported to be in dire straits.

The Fiji Sun reports that destitute villagers say they are in desperate need of assistance but are still waiting for visits by disaster officials.

A resident of Vunakaute settlement, Charles Lewabeci, is quoted as saying although radio reports said teams had visited affected villages, they are still waiting for survey teams.

He says they have been left with almost nothing to survive on and bedding and clothes had to be thrown away after being soaked with muddy water.

Mr Lewabeci says their kava and tapioca plantations have been ruined by landslides and many villagers have no source of income.

Meanwhile cyclone victims who were given cash grants of 180-US dollars each by the interim finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, last week say the money is not enough because the cost of damage is far greater.

They are pleading for more financial assistance to repair their homes and buy food.