NATION

Settlement Spokesperson Pleads For Assistance Within Confinement Area

Mr Sovau said he collected bottles and scrap metal along with other settlement members to provide for their families.
24 Mar 2020 13:34
Settlement Spokesperson Pleads For Assistance Within Confinement Area
Manueli Sovau points at the bulk of bottles collected by residents of the California Lovu Settlement to sell in Lautoka. Photo: Salote Qalubau

Manueli Sovau, the spokesperson for the California Lovu seaside settlement in Lautoka, said the livelihoods of most residents in the area have been put on hold within the Lautoka Confinement Area.

“At this moment this border block is affecting those who sell bottles and scrap metal for a living because everything is closed and if you go now to most of the houses, there’s no food,” he said.

Mr Sovau said he collected bottles and scrap metal along with other settlement members to provide for their families.

“Whatever I earn I share it with the settlement members because I actually am assisted by my children who are all working,” he said.

“Some were casual workers so their offices are closed and they cannot sell the bottles they’ve picked. Even those who would sell pies and cakes cannot sell anything because they are saving their remaining resources for their families. Also, who would they sell to if they go to town?”

He said the settlement members were supposed to sell the bulk of their collected bottles last Friday, but they could not do so, with the closure of most shops. Also scrap metal sellers were also at a loss since most companies collecting scrap metal closed as well.

“Even if we did have a little money, the buses aren’t going into the city so we can’t go and buy what we need,” he said.

Mr Sovau said he hoped residents would not resort to stealing from other homes.

“We are pleading with the Government to offer some kind of assistance to us because this crisis is no different to any natural disaster and we the unemployed, elderly, sick and poor are suffering the most,” he said.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: salote.qalubau@fijisun.com.fj

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