Fiji Floods Hit Informal Settlements
Christian World Service is appealing for funds to help in the recovery of Fiji’s Western Division, affected by major flooding. At least six people have been killed and more than 4500 people displaced. The Fiji Government has declared parts of the Western Division a ‘State of Natural Disaster’.
CWS partner Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education and Advocacy (ECREA) has carried out an initial assessment in cooperation with the People's Community Network and have requested assistance in order to provide counselling and support to those affected. They found that 750 households in the informal settlements were evacuated or made homeless in and around Nadi, and another 400 households affected in the area surrounding Lautoka because of the severe flooding. In asking for assistance ECREA noted that the government authorities do not always help those who live in the informal settlements so their support will be vital to those who have lost their homes.
In supporting the call for assistance, the Pacific Conference of Churches’ Climate and Disaster Risk Officer, Reverend Ikani Tolu, says “Whatever little you can contribute will go a long way for our brother and sisters in Western Viti Levu, as well as in Vanua Levu, majority of who have lost their belongings in the floods”.
“School has just begun and it’s unfortunate that this disaster has come at this critical time. However, I take heart in the fact that human beings are resilient and aided with timely gestures of compassion and outreaching, we can rebuild to help restore hope and dignity to those most in need.”
“Through all this, let us pray for one another and our country so that God can comfort those who have lost loved ones and those who continue to face difficulties at this time,” Rev. Tolu said.
CWS has launched this appeal in cooperation with Caritas. ECREA is a long term partner for both organisations, working to uphold the rights and improve the livelihoods for people living in Fiji’s informal settlements.
27 January 2012