NEWS

A Christmas Like No Other For Female Officers

It is a sacrifice like no other as the whole nation comes together to assist in any way possible to ensure that no Fijian is left behind.
28 Dec 2020 15:45
A Christmas Like No Other For Female Officers
The Team assigned to gather information that will help Government in making the best decisions in terms of rehabilitation and assistance.

 

While many were busy preparing for Christmas celebrations with their families, Government officials were busy working around the clock so that ration and relief supplies reached the thousands of families that were affected by TC Yasa.

Teams were deployed to the affected areas to carry out Initial Damage Assessments and Divisional Damage Assessments and work continues to this day.

It is a sacrifice like no other as the whole nation comes together to assist in any way possible to ensure that no Fijian is left behind.

The Ministry of Fisheries is among the Government agencies that have deployed teams to carry out surveys as well as assist in the distribution of food and relief supplies.

Ms Raijeli Natadra started her work with the Ministry back in 2013 and she has been with the Offshore Division throughout her career.

Ms Natadra was one of the officers that put her hand up to lead her team of 15 officers consisting of 9 males and 6 females in relief efforts.

Their role is basically to load Government vessels with food and relief supplies which were bound for the Lau group of islands.

“As team leader, I lead in all aspects of our work at the Government Jetty or any other area we are assigned to during this NDMO relief response. I basically keep in contact with our disaster management coordinator who alerts us to any new assignment,” explained Ms Natadra.

“At the operation area, my team is then spread out into small groups and we start loading food packs, hygiene kits, kitchen utensils, telecommunication cables, tarpaulins, tents and other items.”

“We have been working since Christmas Eve and our Offshore Division has been divided into three teams. So we are all on standby this festive season and like everyone else, just hoping and praying for quick relief and rehabilitation of communities and families that have been affected,” said Ms Natadra.

“I can honestly say that the assistance has been worthwhile as we are assisting those less fortunate families who are probably missing meals, sleeping out in the open or in evacuation centres. But, I also believe that our spirit of giving and thinking of the less fortunate must be a daily thing and part of our life.”

“In this line of work, some people might think it’s only for men, but I think otherwise. When it comes to giving, sacrifices and love, men and women are equal. I also thank my Ministry for the opportunity to take part in such an honourable initiative,” she added.

Female officers in the front line in Vanua Levu have been working non-stop since they were deployed on Monday last week.

Mereoni Taga is another exceptional female officer that took up the challenge to be deployed to the North and she is part of a team that is conducting surveys in the Cakaudrove Province.

Ms Taga joined the Ministry in the past month as a GIS officer based with the Research Division and she didn’t have second thoughts when being called to be deployed to the Northern Division.

“It has been an experience like no other and to see for myself the devastation caused by TC Yasa, my heart just goes out to all affected,” said Ms Taga.

“We are doing everything we can in getting much needed information that will help Government in making the best decisions in terms of rehabilitation and assistance. The resilient spirit in Fijians has not disappeared and we see this everyday when out in the field,” she added.

She says that spending Christmas Day out in the field has been an eye opener and hopes that every Fijian will keep those affected in their thoughts and prayers.

Teams from the ministry are covering the three provinces in the North as well as the Lau and Lomaiviti group and will most probably spend New Year as well in the affected areas as they try their best to complete their assigned tasks



Five Square diwali dhamaka 2021


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