3 Jan 2013

Focus on readying schools in Samoa and Fiji after Evan

3:51 pm on 3 January 2013

The authorities in cyclone-hit Samoa and Fiji are focused now on getting schools ready for the start of the school year at the end of the month.

Schools in both countries have been used as evacuation centres but many were also badly damaged by Evan when it hit almost three weeks ago.

In Samoa, the 700 remaining evacuees are to return home over the next couple of days so that schools can be cleaned.

A spokesperson for National Disaster Management says plans are being made for those students who attend schools that were damaged.

The director of Fiji's National Disaster Management Office, Manasa Tagicakibau, says an assessment and costing for the rebuilding of homes is being completed today but school rehabilitation is the priority.

"We are directing the focus to all the school buildings that were damaged during the cyclone and the target now is to get the schools up and running by the first day of school this year."

Manasa Tagicakibau says he can't say yet how much that will cost.