Let school evacuation centres remain open: Labour

  • 6th April 2012
  • 2012
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The Fiji Labour Party has urged the authorities to permit evacuees taking refuge at the various schools in the West to remain at these centres until they find alternative accommodation.

Women and children taking refuge at the Andrews Government School in Nadi. They have been told to vacate the premises by tomorrow (Saturday)

FLP Leader Mahendra Chaudhry who is currently visiting flood affected areas in the West, said about 200 people taking shelter at the Andrews Government School in Nadi have been told to vacate the premises by tomorrow (Saturday).

“Where are these people going to go, some with babies and little children? Their houses are full of mud and slush. They still have no water or electricity and it rains here every day. How are these people expected to clean their flood-ravaged homes under these conditions?

“On purely humanitarian grounds, if nothing else, the evacuees should be allowed to remain at these centres until their homes have been cleaned out and repaired. Or government finds them alternative accommodation.

“These families are quite disturbed at the directive that they should vacate by tomorrow. Even the officials in charge of the centre admit that the evacuees have nowhere to go to if they were forced out of the school premises.

“I call on the authorities to give serious consideration to the plight of these hapless victims of Friday’s flooding,” Mr Chaudhry said.

Thousands of other evacuees taking shelter in schools in the West are in a similar predicament following the directive issued by government that all schools open for classes on Tuesday.

Mr Chaudhry said school term dates should be adjusted to deal with this national crisis. He suggested that the first term school holidays be brought forward. Or alternatively, classes be held during the term holidays to make up for lost education time.

“You cannot deal with a national crisis of this magnitude through a piecemeal approach. All sectors will have to cooperate and make adjustments where necessary because peoples’ lives have been completely devastated by these series of floods,” Mr Chaudhry said.