21 Jan 2009

FEMLINK Pacific in Fiji concerned about evacuees being forced home

11:47 am on 21 January 2009

A womens' group in Fiji, FEMLINK Pacific, is raising concerns about flood evacuees being forced to return home again prior to the upcoming school year starting again on Monday.

FEMLINK's Sharon Bhagwan Rolls says currently many schools in affected areas are being used as emergency evacuation centres.

She says that for many people no alternative emergency accommodation has been offered by disaster officials or the interim government.

She says many houses in flood affected areas remain covered in thick mud with many homes unstable and uninhabitable.

"We need to make sure that people do have safe homes to go back to. There's a real concern they might not be providing alternative accommodation. The message seems to be coming through you know you have got so many days left before you have to leave these evacuation centres which happen to be schools. Families really need some alternative centres to go too as safe evacuation centres."

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls says she hopes DISMAC, who is responsible for evacuation centres, will offer alternative accommodation for homeless evacuees.