HELP FOR HOME INITIATIVE:
Beneficiaries Praise Govt’s Active Response
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.
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.