NATION

Ministers Offer Timely Advice To Public

Four ministries have come together to guide and advise the public following the announcement of low pressure and tropical depression warning for the Fiji Group. Yesterday, a combined press conference
01 Jan 2019 11:15
Ministers Offer Timely Advice To Public
From left: Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete, Minister for Defence and National Security Inia Seruiratu, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Servic- es Jone Usamate and Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment Mahendra Reddy, on December 31, 2018, during the press conference in Suva.

Four ministries have come together to guide and advise the public following the announcement of low pressure and tropical depression warning for the Fiji Group.

Yesterday, a combined press conference was held in Samabula, Suva by the Minister for Health and Medical Services, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management, Minister for Waterways and Environment and Minister for National Security and Defence.

Ministry of Health and Medical Services

Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete, said all Fijians should store fresh water in advance and boil all drinking water during this period.

“Make sure we maintain clean and safe water. There has been discussion with my fellow ministers about drinking of kava and alcohol during this festive season. As we know kava also contains water, so make sure the water is clean,” he said.

Mr Waqainabete said that our public health team was ready and available in all the hospitals and health centres.

“They have prepared from the weekend. We have stocked up all our hospitals and health centres, in case one of the hospitals loses communication. They can actually run for two weeks,” he said.

“People should store enough food items.”

Mr Waqainabete said the major health issues after a cyclone were usually the injuries and trauma.

“There is also disease outbreaks and we are mostly worried about floods where sanitisation becomes our major concern and the typhoid situation is controlled,” he said.

Ministry of Waterways and Environment

Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development, Waterways and Environment, Mahendra Reddy said the Western, Eastern and Central (WEC) teams were on standby to assist in cleaning drains, creeks and other waterways that may be blocked due to debris, rubbish and tree branches.

He said that parents should keep an eye on their children and keep them safe and away from flood prone areas.

“Crops which are in flood prone areas, they may wish to harvest those which are near maturity and move livestock to higher grounds,” Mr Reddy said.

“People should minimise travelling during heavy rain and temporarily relocate household members whose dwelling are beside a cliff because heavy brain could lead to landslides and slips.”

Ministry for National Security and Defence

Minister for Defence and National Security, Ratu Inia Seruiratu said as usual Defence was on the stand-by, the Fiji Police, Naval Search and Rescue Unit and Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF).

“The need to take advice is important, particularly movement in land and sea during this depression,” he said.

“Safety is important for all and especially for children who love to play in flooded areas, my advice is to keep away from these areas.”

Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Jone Usamate said that at the moment Fiji  was still in a tropical depression. There are some probability that the tropical depression will become a cyclone in the near future.

“We have activated all our emergency operation centres, in terms of the national and at the district level. We want to make sure we have a collaborative approach to addressing a category 1 cyclone, if it does happen,” he said.

Mr Usamate said “we anticipate that our biggest concern is not the wind but the rainfall.” The impact the rain might have is in terms of flooding and landslides.

The following personnel can be contacted for assistance of blocked culverts, drains and creeks;

Central Division

Team Leader- Rajiv Kumar – 9904304

Assistant – Joseva Waqa 8916940

Western Division

Team Leader – Inosi Nabuka- 9904314

Assistant – Umesh Singh – 9345273

Northern Division

Team Leader – Sanjay Narayan – 9904320

Assistant – Sanivalati Cola – 8916945

National Coordinator

For any general enquiries contact Director Operations, Mahendra Kumar on 9904262

The teams will have at their disposal manpower, chainsaws, hiab trucks, 4×4 vehicles and boats. 

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback:  swashna.chand@fijisun.com.fj

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