17 Jul 2007

Students going hungry in mining town in Fiji says Salvation army

9:05 am on 17 July 2007

People are reported to be stealing food from one another and students are going to school hungry in Fiji's mining ghost town of Tavua after the closure of the Vatukoula gold mine last December.

The Fiji Sun says this has been confirmed by the Salvation Army's divisional public relations secretary, Captain Richard Kumar.

Captain Kumar says students are stealing lunches from their classmates because they are starving.

1,700 mine workers were made redundant when the mine shut down without warning on December 5th.

Captain Kumar says the difficulties families are facing in feeding and educating their children are beginning to show.

He says there are more than 1,000 students in Vatukoula who are without a decent breakfast or lunch, while others are not attending school because they have no bus fare or food.

The Salvation Army has appealed to businesses and individuals for assistance to help feed students.