19 Dec 2012

Call for Fiji interim government not to neglect poor after cylcone

2:05 pm on 19 December 2012

Fiji's interim government is being urged not to neglect poor people as it works to provide relief and rehabilitation following Tropical Cyclone Evan.

A spokesperson for the government's Disaster Management Office says although the storm was destructive across the country's northern and western divisions, it has done the most damage in the western town of Lautoka.

A consultant with the non-governmental organisation People's Community Network, Father Kevin Barr, says it is fortunate no one appears to have been killed.

"But certainly severe damage to infrastructure to housing, electricity down, water cut off and so on, so it's really severely hit the whole area and particularly the poorer people. Government and provincial council tends to look after the business sector and the villages. But the informal settlements are often left to fend for themselves."

Father Kevin Barr says something else that is often overlooked after a natural disaster is the need for psychological help.