16 Jan 2009

Fiji flood recovery will take at least six month, says commerce boss

3:39 pm on 16 January 2009

Fiji's Chamber of Commerce says businesses in Nadi will take six months to a year to recover from the country's floods, if they ever do.

The National Disaster Management Office has estimated a minimum total cost at about 18 million US dollars, a figure expected to rise considerably.

The Chamber's president, Swani Maharaj, says members are doing everything they can to help businesses open as soon as possible.

"They will take at least six months to a year before they can return to normality. The basic necessities of water, electricity are being restored by the government organisations so that the members of the business community could wash and clean up the place and open their shops, but I'm sure a lot of the smaller ones will probably never open."

Swani Maharaj says members report losses of between 25 and 50 thousand US dollars per business, just in stock, and says the clean up cost will be significantly higher.

The United Nations Development Programme has released 100,000 US dollars to assist in Fiji's recovery from the floods.