5 Feb 2008

Fiji political party leader says interim Government caught unprepared by cyclone Gene

11:39 am on 5 February 2008

The secretary of Fiji's National Federation party has criticized the interim government for being ill prepared for a natural disaster such as Cyclone Gene.

Last week, Cyclone Gene devastated parts of the country and the interim government has declared a 'state of natural disaster' in the worst affected areas.

But Pramod Rae says it doesnt mean much to affected victims, who have had to endure ongoing power outages, water cuts and no communication to some areas.

He says there's been a slow bureaucratic approach to the relief response and rehabilitation efforts, and many affected communities are becoming demoralised.

"Vast areas of the country still remain without power, without water, without access. Roads have been damaged, and there's been no restoration work in the interior of the main islands, and on the outlying islands we don't know what the situation is there, there's been no communication there. Yes this is probably the first time there has been such a slow snail type approach to providing relief for victims of a natural disaster."

Pramod Rae has also criticized the Prime Minister's Relief and Rehabilitation Trust Fund Account for asking people to contribute financially to the relief effort.