Thursday, 15 December 2016

Rabuka commiserates with TC Winston victims still in tents

RABUKA COMMISERATES WITH TC WINSTON VICTIMS STILL IN TENTS,
URGES GOVERNMENT TO URGENTLY REVIEW THE HELP FOR HOMES INITIATIVE
AND TO CONTINUE DISTRIBUTING FOOD RATIONS TO COMMUNITIES IN NEED

15 December 2016

SODELPA Party Leader, Major General (Retired) Sitiveni L Rabuka today reassured the people of FIji still in tents as a result of Tropical Cyclone Winston ten months ago, and due to the delay in government’s rehabilitation efforts, that they have not been forgotten, and that they are in our prayers.
A villager in Mudu, Koro in a makeshift shelter after he lost his home
after Severe TC Winston wreaked havoc in February this year.
Picture: Fiji Times: File/JOVES NAISUA
http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=369504

“It is my prayer that this tropical depression does not develop into a destructive cyclone, although the driving winds and rain are bad enough for our people still in tents today. I pray God will comfort them and keep them safe during this cyclone season. The cyclone season is an annual occurrence in Fiji and was entirely predictable, so the Government’s lackadaisical attitude has resulted in this situation, ten months later, where our people are holding on to their tents for dear life, and forced to seek evacuation centers, yet again.”

“I cannot understand how the government has taken the cynical position that its survival is more important than ensuring the relief and rehabilitation of thousands of our people displaced, traumatised and made homeless by TC Winston. These wind and rain will again displace and further traumatise them. In a similar way, Government has cynically observed and allowed the decline of the sugar industry which is on its last legs. This is the symptom of a government desperate to hold onto power, devoting most of its energies to looking good on the international stage, but ignoring the plight of ordinary people at home.”

“Calls from the Opposition for a stronger penalty on hardware dealers, and for the re-establishment of the Government Supplies department and Prime Minister’s Cyclone Rehabilitation Department, have fallen on deaf ears. Government refuses to change course, as its leadership thinks it is the only repository of wisdom, knowledge and solutions to Fiji’s problems.”

“The government’s PR efforts seek to create the perception that Fiji, under FijiFirst leadership, has shed its military dictatorship since the 2014 elections and is ready to engage with the international community as a truly democratic force and player. That is why the Government and the PM have actively campaigned for international leadership roles like chairing the Group of 77, the ISO, the Presidency of the UN General Assembly and now COP 23.”

“I am sure the international community is not blind to the lofty increases in our Cabinet Ministers’ salaries and allowances, and the high cost of  Government  and Recurrent Expenditure caused  by selective high salaries while the minimum wages and FNPF pension keep the majority of our people living below the poverty line.

Tent homes in Nukubalavu village, Cakaudrove
Date: 7 November during tour of TC Winston affected areas
by SODELPA Party Leader Maj. Gen. SL Rabuka
Pic Credit: SODELPA
“While the PM is lecturing the bigger economies in various international and regional fora to increase  their budgetary commitments to assist Small Island States take appropriate measures to mitigate the devastating effects of climate change and high sea level risings, here at home the Help for Home Initiative is a monumental scandal and failure. There is no guarantee that the homes that are being rebuilt to replace those destroyed by severe TC Winston in February will meet engineering cyclone resistant standards. As a result of the HFH failure, hundreds of families are still living in tents and makeshift shelters, scrounging for food, 10 months on, with no indication from Government as to when Hardware Dealers will be able to deliver all of their building materials and supplies.”

“I again call on the Prime Minister to initiate an independent investigation into the Help for Homes Initiative and the failure of the hardware companies to whom Government has abdicated its responsibility to rebuild our people’s devastated homes. I also call on him to ensure there is sufficient food rations distributed regularly to those communities where food security has not yet fully recovered since TC Winston, and to get a move on and punish any Minister, official or hardware company that is at fault, in particular any that is at fault for allowing the export of building materials while our people languish in tents waiting for assistance.”


ENDS//

Authorised by: Party Leader Major General (Retired) Sitiveni L Rabuka
Social Democratic Liberal Party of Fiji
Tel: 3301544      
Digi: 7179605        Voda: 9562821        


Email:  fijisodelpa@gmail.com


PREVIOUS STATEMENTS

1. HELP FOR HOMES PROGRAM AN ABJECT FAILURE, INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION NEEDED SAYS RABUKA.  5/12/16: See https://sodelpafiji.blogspot.com/2016/12/help-for-homes-program-abject-failure.html

2. RABUKA CALLS FOR INQUIRY INTO HELP FOR HOMES INITIATIVE: 26/11/16 - https://sodelpafiji.blogspot.com/2016/11/rabuka-calls-for-inquiry-into-help-for.html

3. Rabuka questions whether Government has paid hardware companies for Help for Homes initiative 10/11/16 https://sodelpafiji.blogspot.com/2016/11/rabuka-questions-whether-government-has.html