Flood Victims Praise PM For Generous Help

Navua flood victims yesterday praised Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama for visiting them in evacuation centres. He also handed them food rations. Mother of two, Maria Vakatale, 37, said at J.
21 Dec 2016 11:53
Flood Victims Praise PM For Generous Help
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama (right) while visiting evacuees at Jokhan Memorial Primary School in Calia Road, Navua. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Navua flood victims yesterday praised Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama for visiting them in evacuation centres.

He also handed them food rations.

Mother of two, Maria Vakatale, 37, said at J. N. Jokhan Memorial Primary School evacuation centre, that it was a pleasant surprise and a privilege to personally shake Mr Bainimarama’s hands and chat with him.

“We only see his pictures in the Fiji Sun and TV but to see him in real person is a major boost for us,” she said.

“We thank him for visiting us in our time of need.”

Aporosa Tuivanuavou of Wainiveidio, at the Vashist Muni Memorial Primary School evacuation centre, 58, said the PM’s visit had brought a new lease of life to his settlement.

“We thought we were forgotten. Two years we were given a housing grant to build new homes. Then it was withdrawn without any satisfactory explanation. Now, the PM has got it fixed and we appreciate his concern and prompt action,” he said.

Mr Tuivanuavou had raised their grievance with the PM at the school. Minutes later he was on the phone speaking to the officer responsible at Ministry of Housing who told the PM that the minister had made the decision because Navua was not a town yet.

Mr Bainimarama then ordered that the fund be diverted and be used to rehabilitate the flood victims.

Minister Parveen Bala said the housing project was still going ahead and no fund had been withdrawn. He said the project had nothing to do with Navua becoming a town.

Mr Tuivanuavou said: “I was very impressed with the PM. He fixed it in a matter of minutes. Before that we were given the runaround. He is a gift to us. What he has done is a perfect Christmas gift for us.”

He was among others who saw him about their grievances.

Vanu Raluve, 58, a flood victim, who also spoke to PM, said: “I felt humbled by his simple and sincere manner. I can feel his spirit of compassion and kindness. I thank him for thinking of us. He came, made us laugh, gave us advice, food rations and lifted our spirit.”



Later in the afternoon at the Nadera Methodist Church evacuation centre, more accolades came from Veiraisi settlement flood victims there.

Widow Salacieli Molidegei, 57, said: “I am happy he has come down from his high office to listen to our voices. Now our land and housing issues have been resolved.”

Alumita Nawaqanivalu, 36, mother of three said: “This is the first time I have seen and spoken to him in person.

“We are grateful for the help he has given us.”

Mr Bainimarama mediated in a dispute between the residents and the Nasinu Land Purchase Co-operative Society and got both sides to agree to work together on drainage and allocation of lots.



A new wellness centre is planned at the old Navua Hospital complex to alleviate pressure at the new hospital.

The Sub-Divisional Medical Officer (SDMO) Navua, Dr Anaseini Maisema, disclosed the plan to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday.

Mr Bainimarama had inquired about a sick patient at an evacuation centre in Navua when he heard the plan.

He said the new Navua Hospital was built because the old hospital was prone to flooding.

Dr Maisema said patients who were not sick can have their regular checks and clinics at the wellness centre. She said it would relieve the pressure at the new hospital.

She also revealed that the kitchen at the old hospital was still being used because the new hospital did not have the proper facilities for OHS (Occupational, Health and Safety) compliance.

Mr Bainimarama toured the old and new hospitals. At the new hospital he was shown the kitchen area without the facilities. He was also shown a wall that was leaking when it rains and downpipes from the roof that do not have proper outlets.

Dr Maisema said this caused erosion of the top soil that was washed down to the lower parts of the hospital.

Edited by Naisa Koroi



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