4 Apr 2018

Flooded communities in Fiji showing resilience

9:20 am on 4 April 2018

The Fiji Red Cross says communities in flood-affected parts of the country's west are showing great resilience.

Tropical Cyclone Josie causes major flooding in Fiji's Ba

Tropical Cyclone Josie causes major flooding in Fiji's Ba Photo: Fiji Village

A big clean up is underway in Fiji after Cyclone Josie brought heavy rains and flooding at the weekend.

Four people died and one person is still missing.

The worst hit areas are in the Western Division, on Viti Levu

Distribution of government aid is underway and the Fiji Red Cross has been assisting.

The Red Cross' Western Division services co-ordinator Mathew Bolaitamana said communities in worst-affected parts like Nadi, Sigatoka and Ba were showing great resilience.

"Those who are living in those areas are really not waiting for assistance to come but they are taking the responsibility upon themselves to clean up and try to ensure that they do their part before the support or the arrival of government relief in these areas," Mr Bolaitamana said.

The charity has been busy giving out aid like dignity kits, hygiene packs, jerry cans, and solar lights to those worst affected

People have been sheltering in evacuation centres and schools have been closed.

Nadi housed the most evacuees, with 471 people making use of eight evacuation centres in the town.

The National Disaster Office said it was working hard to restore power and water.

Most roads are now clear and back in use, but some roads still have debris to be cleared or damage that needs repairing.

The Fiji government has distributed emergency food and is hoping for fine weather in the coming days to assist in the clear up, although a heavy rain alert remains in force and flood warning also remain in force for parts of Fiji.

The Fiji Met office said ex Tropical Cyclone Josie was moving southeast away from Fiji.

SODELPA chastises govt over response

Fiji's opposition Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) is urging Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama not to downplay the government's responsibility to provide urgent aid to flood stricken victims.

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka said in a statement that he was disappointed in media reports that the government response to the flooding had been slow and an evacuation centre was not ready.

He has accused the government of removing institutions and the capacity to respond effectively to natural disasters such as the Department of Hurricane Relief, Rural Housing and Rehabilitation and the Public Works Department and Government Supplies Department.

He said that the private sector and civil society can work in partnership with the government, but it is the government's primary responsibility to lead.

Cyclone Josie damage

Photo: Facebook/ Fiji Village