4 Apr 2016

Cyclone battered Fiji hit by more storms

From , 3:04 pm on 4 April 2016

Heavy rain and flooding is disrupting aid to hard hit communities in the north of Fiji's main island, Viti Levu.

Two tropical depressions have brought widespread flooding to the country which was devastated six weeks ago by Cyclone Winston.

Sally Round is in Tavua on the north coast of Viti Levu and she told Don Wiseman about the impact there of this latest storm.

SALLY ROUND: Very heavy rain set in last night and warnings, public advisories were put to warn people to beware of flooding, to even evacuate if the could. I have travelled from Lautoka through to Rakiraki in the far north that was pretty much ground zero of Cyclone Winston six weeks ago, just to have a look at how the flooding and the heavy rain has affected things. I was also hoping to go out with the Red Cross today, out into remote areas inland from Rakiraki, but unfortunately we couldn't even get to Rakiraki because of the flood waters. So that put paid to my plans, but I was able to talk to the New Zealand Red Cross specialist here on water and sanitation issues, and she is very concerned about those remote communities being cut off - hundreds of households in need of help.  

DON WISEMAN: These are households that had been able to get by in terms of Cyclone Winston, but no longer? 

SR: Well according to aid workers who were able to reach them last week there was massive devastation, houses strewn like match sticks on the ground, so the plan today was to go out and further help those communities. Now a quarter of a million people across Fiji need help with water, sanitation and hygiene advice. Things like making sure they have a safe water supply, appropriate toilet facilities to stop the spread of water borne disease. Now the aid worker I have been speaking to, Ani Zarkavic, says that the communities are very resilient and that they are making do with pit dug latrines and so on but sometimes they just need that extra advice just to help rebuild and just to ensure they are doing the right thing.