The flash flood has drastically affected communities in Fiji’s largest island of Viti Levu.
Flattening village’s strong currents have displaced hundreds of people and damaged properties-
sweeping away all their belonging. Speaking from Fiji, a flood victim’s family, Maya Kumar, of Vuniyasi, Nadi, told The Indian Weekender, “The flood was worst in the history of Fiji.”
She said: “In 2009 there was a flood but it wasn’t so bad and devastating. “My daughter’s house was under floodwaters and strong currents took away all their food and household goods. “The worst was when few people forced to take shelter on the trees and rooftops while children and elders were rushed to evacuation centres.” However, some areas used canoes to transport people crying for help.
She said earlier this week that most areas were still without electricity and proper water supply and people had to stand in a long queue for hours to get their share of food supply.
In Auckland, the ANZ Bank’s Otahuhu branch has opened a new account – Fiji Flood Fund Appeal to collect money for the flood victims. The Fiji Flood Fund Appeal is supported by Fiji-Indian staff of ANZ and Sunia Raitava, a Fijian community worker.
In 2009, they collected $10,000 for flood victims and are confident they will collect more this year.
In an exclusive interview the bank officers, Simla Chandra and Saras Mani “encouraged people to donate whatever they can”. They told Weekender, “The best way to give back to your country is during a time of need and this is the right time. “It was disheartening to see video clips of our people crying for help and swimming in flood waters to collect their belongings,” said Saras Mani, originally of Suva.
She recalled 20 years ago when her family faced the same situation when they were in Fiji.Said Mrs Mani: “We should never forget our days and where we have come from. “We were also told that some people were without food for days.” This time her family has not being affected but remembering those cold days she has sent clothes, money and other necessary items. She asked others to do the same.
Simla Chandra, who is originally of Lautoka, said her families living in Ba emailed her pictures of their furniture floating in flood waters. “I couldn’t believe my eyes. “I’m very sad that my family on another side are suffering so badly and we are so helpless because we are far away.” According to her it will take some time for families to recover and what worries her most is the children’s future.
“I feel sorry for the kids because their books and stationery have been washed away. “We have sent clothes and food items in containers organised by Radio Tarana and will send more books and stationery again for children. ”However, Mr Raitava urged Fijian nationals to join hands and keep on pouring whatever they can to help people back in the island sleeping rough in one clothes, empty stomach. “They still need help, some areas people haven’t received anything and I believe this
is the right time for us all to get together and help them.
“Thanks to the government of New Zealand and other business organisations here who stood up with programmes to help the people of our nation in pain today. “All the money will be handed over to Red Cross New Zealand which will transfer it to Red Cross Fiji,” Mr Raitava said.