NZDF completing aid mission in Fiji
Remote Fiji villages remain in dire need weeks after being hit by Cyclone Winston.
Villages in remote parts of Fiji still need aid after being struck by cyclone Winston nearly two months ago.
The New Zealand Defence Force has been among those delivering supplies around the country for the past six weeks.
Sally Round took to the air with them on one of their last aid drops yesterday.
Packs of tents donated by China are being loaded on to one of the air force's NH90 helicopters. Major Logan Vaughan is among New Zealand, Fijian and Australian forces at one of the aid hubs near Suva
LOGAN VAUGHAN: Initially a lot of the aid that we took in we took in from New Zealand and from Australia and the places nearby. Lately countries like China and a lot of other countries have been giving a lot of aid also and we are just getting that out there as a sort of second or third rotation of aid out to these outlying places.
The international aid effort is being coordinated by Fiji with help from UN agencies and other aid groups. Flight Lieutenant Peter Familton is one of the New Zealand pilots making up to six supply drops a day around Fiji.
PETER FAMILTON: As far as I know I think we have taken some water engineers into one of the villages and they went around and assessed the wells and the water supplies for any damages and contamination and following that it was food and tent supplies which is what we are continuing today.
From the air the houses in Nawaisomo are small dots in the cyclone-swept hill country well north of the capital Suva. This village is normally only reachable by river boat.But the chief's boat was washed away in the storm and now the people are even more isolated.The helicopter swoops down and the villagers rush in to form a chain and help unload. The children clutch bibles, men are in ties and girls in special dresses ... they have just been to church when the New Zealanders drop in. The chief Ratu Waisea Drakusiwale is there to meet us.
RATU WAISEA DRAKUSIWALE: This is the 12th of the...
SALLY ROUND: 12th, 12th one, oh so everybody is used to helicopters now?
RATU WAISEA DRAKUSIWALE: Yes, it is very exciting for all the children new to see the helicopter.
Ratu Waisea says a dozen houses were damaged but rebuilding has started. He's started on a new boat too but he is worried because staple root crops have been ruined.
RATU WAISEA DRAKUSIWALE: There, all the cassava planted there now they are all damaged, see right over there now no more cassava there. I planted some vegetables beside my kitchen down there but not enough. All the villagers come and collect it from there.
Ratu Waisea says one little girl's already had to go to hospital, he suspects because of lack of food. He takes me aside before we depart.
RATU WAISEA DRAKUSIWALE: So you going to tell them if you can please.
SALLY ROUND: How much more food do you need?
RATU WAISEA DRAKUSIWALE: Eighty-four houses, yes
SALLY ROUND: So how many people?
RATU WAISEA DRAKUSIWALE: About 300.
SALLY ROUND: Food for 300 people.
RATU WAISEA DRAKUSIWALE:: Yes
SALLY ROUND: Do you urgently need the food?
RATU WAISEA DRAKUSIWALE: Yes mostly we all need the food.
As we leave I promise him I'll let the disaster authorities know. The New Zealand Defence Force is planning to complete its Fiji aid mission at the end of the week. In Fiji Sally Round
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