HELP FOR HOME INI­TIA­TIVE:

Ben­e­fi­cia­ries Praise Govt’s Ac­tive Re­sponse

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The Fi­jian Gov­ern­ment’s ac­tive re­sponse to as­sist the fam­i­lies in re­build­ing their lives have been com­mended by the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the Help for Home Ini­tia­tive. On April 9, the Prime Min­is­ter Voreqe Bain­i­marama had an­nounced that the $70 mil­lion ‘Help for Homes’ ini­tia­tive was to pro­vide fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for home­own­ers to re­build their homes af­ter the dev­as­ta­tion caused by se­vere Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Win­ston. The ini­tia­tive is tar­geted in 12 pri­or­ity ar­eas; Tailevu, Raki­raki, Tavua, Ba, Lau­toka, Nadi, Ya­sawa, Vanu­a­bal­avu, Taveuni, Qamea, Ya­cata, Cakau­drove, Bua, Naitasiri and the Lo­maiv­iti Group. In its third week of op­er­a­tions, the HFH ini­tia­tive has con­tin­ued to ben­e­fit thou­sands who are in need of as­sis­tance to re­build their homes. The Tailevu prov­ince this week had two dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres, one in Sawakasa vil­lage and the other one in Lawaki vil­lage com­mu­nity Hall. While as­sist­ing the Min­istry of Women of­fi­cials at Lawaki, the Lawaki vil­lage head­man Eliki Ro­qica ap­plauded Gov­ern­ment for its swift re­sponse to re­build the homes and re­vive the liveli­hood of ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

More than 40 vil­lages in the dis­tricts of Dawasamu, Na­mena, Sawakasa, Na­malata, in­clud­ing Lawaki vil­lage have been as­sisted through the ‘Help for Homes’ Ini­tia­tive. “We thank the Gov­ern­ment, the Hon­ourable Prime Min­is­ter and his Cabi­net for the as­sis­tance in re­build­ing the lives of our com­mu­ni­ties. Gov­ern­ment has also re­sponded quickly to pro­vide food ra­tions, along with the seedlings from the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture that have as­sisted the farm­ers in Tailevu. “Gov­ern­ment has been re­spond­ing very well, to en­sure peo­ple are as­sisted, along with as­sis­tance from NGO’s. The ‘Help for Homes’ cen­tres have been as­sist­ing peo­ple who had come in large num­bers. Lawaki vil­lage was also in­cluded, of the 47 houses that had been dam­aged, 13 had been com­pletely dam­aged. We will be able to re­build these homes, peo­ple have started to con­tact the hard­ware com­pa­nies to get the hard­ware ma­te­ri­als to start the re­build­ing work,” Mr Ro­qica said.

As­sisted at the Lawaki cen­tre, 81 year old Save­nia Mara­maniloco of Qelekuro vil­lage was grate­ful when she was pre­sented with the HFH e-card.

“I have lived in my fam­ily house un­til it got com­pletely de­stroyed in Cy­clone Win­ston. But I don’t have to worry, be­cause with this card that I am hold­ing in my hand, I will be able to build a new home, for my­self and my grand­chil­dren. Vi­naka Vakalevu to the Gov­ern­ment for this $7000 help,” Ms Mara­maniloco said. Like­wise, a sug­ar­cane farmer, Am­rit Lal of Nadhri, Ba thanked the Gov­ern­ment for the timely as­sis­tance. “We are happy that we will be able to build our new house. We would like to thank the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum who had vis­ited our area and the farm­ers were as­sisted with food ra­tions, and we were told that upon as­sess­ment, peo­ple will be as­sisted to re­build their homes and to­day we have seen that prom­ise be­ing ful­filled,” Mr Lal said.

Photo: Min­istry of Women, Chil­dren and Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion

Save­nia Mara­maniloco, 81, (left), and Teni Sauca of Qelekuro vil­lage in Tailevu as­sisted through the Gov­ern­ment’s Help for Home Ini­tia­tive at Lawaki Vil­lage last week.

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