20 Apr 2004

Long term impact in Fiji for crops following floods

3:14 pm on 20 April 2004

There's expected to be a long term impact to crops from devastating floods in Fiji.

The interior of Viti Levu, the main island, has been particularly hard hit, as has the north-east, and crop damage is estimated at 80 percent near some villages.

The manager of NZ Aid in Fiji, Nicki Wrighton, says she's flown over several areas where the flood waters have receded but the damage is clear to see.

"There's significant crop damage that's going to have an impact. The lack of crops are going to be felt for months to come as people can't harvest, people can't plant yet, the soil is really waterlogged, there's going to be the effects of this for a long time to come."

Ms Wrighton says there is ongoing concern about safe drinking water but purification tablets are being handed to people in evacuation centres who are planning to return to their villages.