15 Feb 2007

Fiji villages affected by floods running out of food

10:52 am on 15 February 2007

Villagers hit by flooding in Fiji's northern division on the island of Vanua Levu nearly two weeks ago are reported to be on the verge of starvation.

The Fiji Times says all their food supplies have run out and they have not received any food rations from the authorities.

The newspaper says a survey yesterday showed most people are now relying on flood damaged root crops for survival and they are calling on the interim administration to speed up the distribution of food rations.

As a result of the food shortage, many school children are being forced to stay home.

One village headman is quoted as saying they were visited by a charitable organisation over the weekend which delivered some food but there has been no help from other sources.

The commissioner northern, Misieli Naivalu, says villagers in Cakaudrove province will receive food rations this week.

Mr Naivalu says after the 2003 floods the same villagers had been advised to move their homes and food gardens to higher ground but they did not heed the advice.