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Adopt A School

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday visited three schools in cyclone-battered southern Taveuni and repeated his call to Fiji and the world: Adopt a School. Mr Bainimarama went to Navakawau Catholic
24 Mar 2016 14:04
Adopt A School
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday visits worst affected areas of Southern Taveuni and assures people of Government’s commitment towards relief and rehabilitation efforts. He visited the village of Navakawau, Navakawau Catholic School, South Taveuni Primary School and South Taveuni High School. Photo: DEPTFO News

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday visited three schools in cyclone-battered southern Taveuni and repeated his call to Fiji and the world: Adopt a School.

Mr Bainimarama went to Navakawau Catholic School, South Taveuni Primary School, and South Taveuni High School. He was visiting parts of Taveuni worst hit by Cyclone Winston.

The Prime Minister assured water supply to the schools would be restored as quickly as possible. Mr Bainimarama also acknowledged teachers and managements for keeping classes going despite the damage to their buildings.

The Prime Minister’s message on the Adopt A School programme was again clear. He wants schools helped quickly so as to help the nation’s cyclone hit children. He wants schools rebuilt to a much higher standard to survive future storms.

In announcing the Adopt A School programme this week, Mr Bainimarama had said:

“The experts are telling us that our students are much more likely to put the cyclone beyond them if they can get back into permanent classrooms as soon as possible.

“Thousands of Fijian schoolchildren are currently being taught in temporary shelters or tents. But we urgently need to rebuild those classrooms and facilities that have been damaged and destroyed and to a much higher standard to survive future events.

“This is a wonderful way in which people can partner with the Government to get the job done as quickly as possible.”

The Fiji Institute of Engineers sent 70 of its members in 22 teams to produce detailed structural reports on the state of schools in the devastated areas and their precise requirements, the Government revealed. They range from repairs to damaged facilities in some places to the rebuilding of entire schools in others which bore the brunt of Cyclone Winston’s fury.

Mr Bainimarama said: “In the coming days, we will release a list of the schools that are being assessed, and as the assessments are done, the reports on those schools will become progressively available to potential donors.”

A precise dollar value is being placed on the requirements of all schools and potential sponsors will be able choose a school that matches their ability to contribute.

Said Mr Bainimarama:  “Obviously where a school has been destroyed or severely damaged, the commitment required will be greater and that school might need a multilateral or bilateral partner, company or civil society organisation with deeper pockets.

“But in some cases, the required outlay is much less and within the ability of an individual, a community group or sporting body to engage in the rebuilding process”, he said.

While at Navakawau Village, Mr Bainimarama asked villagers how best rehabilitation efforts could benefit them.

He assured that rebuilding of damaged schools and health centres on Taveuni would be prioritised to ensure essential services are not affected. It would be done simultaneously with all rehabilitation works on the island.

Mr Bainimarama travelled to Taveuni on an Australian Defence Force helicopter.

 

Edited by Maraia Vula

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