18 Mar 2016

Red Cross in Fiji says it's ready for disease threat

3:28 pm on 18 March 2016

Volunteers are visiting cyclone hit communities in Fiji in an effort to avert threats from waterborne illness following Cyclone Winston.

At a house in Lovu, near Lautoka, people wait for clean drinking water to arrive.

Waiting for clean drinking water to arrive in the days following Winston. Photo: RNZ / Alex Perrottet

A Fiji Red Cross spokesperson said the agency had a comprehensive education plan in place and were teaching people about how to treat water to make it safe for consumption.

Corinne Ambler said they had 160 volunteers visiting affected communities, distributing mosquito nets, coils and repellent.

"We've assessed the worst hit places so we know where to target and our volunteers are out talking to people face-to-face, that's the best way."

Ms Ambler said Red Cross efforts were focussed on providing adequate shelter to those affected.

She said there were still 4500 people in evacuation centres, and the Red Cross estimated that quarter-of-a-million Fijians did not have access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene services.