5 Feb 2014

Lau people struggle without Fiji radio weather alerts

4:43 pm on 5 February 2014

Residents on Fiji's Lau group of islands say they have been struggling without clear radio reception especially during the cyclone season.

Fiji's easternmost islands have relied on AM radio for news and weather alerts via the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation.

The FBC says that archaic system died last year and it is working to restore AM but in the meantime more FM transmitters have been erected to boost services to outer islands.

But the chairman of the Lakeba Tikina Council, Eroni Tadu, says they can't get the FM signal and the community feels cut off not getting the usual shipping updates, news and weather alerts, especially during the cyclone season.

"When we see the cloud and bad weather and rain coming, or we feel like the wind is strong, we call our neighbours in Suva (and ask) 'did you check the weather, what did the radio say about the weather, is there any hurricane warning?' So we can know, we can prepare."

Mr Tadu says the community has written to the office of the Prime Minister and the FBC but it is still waiting for anwers.