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Minister Vuniwaqa: More Expected To Turn Up In Lautoka

Minister Vuniwaqa: More Expected To Turn Up In Lautoka
These are just some of the many Fijians who turned up in Lautoka’s Shirley Park on May 18, 2018 seeking assistance from the Government. Photo: Peni Komaisavai
May 19
13:48 2018

The Minister for Wom­en, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Mereseini Vuniwaqa, ex­pects more people to turn up in Lautoka for their Homes-CARE initiative, compared to the crowd that gathered at Sigatoka on Thursday.

The number of Fijians seeking Government’s as­sistance after Tropical Cy­clones Josie and Keni con­tinues to grow every day.

Shirley Park in Lautoka was no different as thou­sands of Fijians gathered for the Homes-CARE initia­tive.

“In Sigatoka we gave out almost 8000 numbers (tick­ets), 7790 to be exact. Those are the number of tickets we gave out, but that does not mean we served that many people, some of them were being turned away, but this is a much bigger crowd judging from the numbers we have given out so far,” Ms Vuniwaqa said.

Crowds seeking Govern­ment assistance gathered at Shirley Park by the thou­sands, the majority lived in affected areas around Lau­toka.

“So it is going to be more intense over here and we are looking forward to it,” she said.

Ms Vuniwaqa said they had also allocated an ex­clusive tent for the disabled and elderly citizens who were served separately.

Natabua resident Abdul Saheem, 54, said they really needed help from the Fijian Government.

“If Government helps us, then it will be good for us and our families because we are all affected people waiting here, no one is ly­ing, everybody got Tropical Cyclone damage all we ask­ing from our Government if they can do something to help us,” Mr Saheem said.

Lautoka resident Mererai Ranadi, 68, said most of her furniture were damaged by cyclones Keni and Josie.

“We just need help. That is all, and we are pleading with the Government to please assist us with this,” Ms Ranadi said.

Despite the warnings is­sued by Ms Vuniwaqa against false claims, people were still coming forward.

Lack of tickets fail

to dampen hopes

The growing number took its toll on the allocated ticket counts. Some Fijians were left out as there were no more tickets available.

Despite this, Ashika Sin­gh, 34, of Lovu seaside was optimistic about getting some assistance by the Gov­ernment.

She was among the thou­sands of Fijians who missed out on the initial batch of tickets that were given out yesterday morning.

Edited by Naisa Koroi


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