23 Dec 2016

Fiji Opposition says flood relief efforts need be more grassroots

7:29 pm on 23 December 2016

Fiji's opposition Sodelpa party says relief and recovery efforts after widespread flooding this week should be done at a more grass roots level.

Fiji SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka

Fiji SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka Photo: AFP

Sodelpa leader Sitiveni Rabuka has also added his voice to the call for the declaration of disaster zones in the worst affected areas.

Mr Rabuka said the quicker that the declaration is made, the quicker assistance can be sought from development partners and the rest of Fiji not affected can also pitch in and do their part.

He said some agencies won't release assistance without a disaster declaration.

Mr Rabuka said in the meantime, the government should be using more local authorities to assess needs and distribute aid.

"The people who should really be conducting relief work are the commissioners of the various divisions and the Ministry of Regional Development. They are the ones who are fully abreast with what is going on on the ground and they have machinery, the official networking to be able to do that," said Sitiveni Rabuka.

Currently the National Disaster Management Office is spearheading efforts along with a multi-sectoral assistance from the Police, Fire Service and Military and non-governmental help from the Red Cross.

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