Members of the Methodist Church in Fiji have been advised to open all church buildings and halls to be used as evacuation centres in light of Tropical Cyclone Keni.
General Secretary Reverend Ili Navunisuwai said the church’s Disaster Management Unit had been activated to prepare and co-ordinate relief efforts.
He said the team was made up of four members from the faith and, they had a free hand in co-ordinating activities with church executives from other denominations.
“The Methodist Church in Fiji, in its proactive approach, would like to reaffirm the church’s commitment of complementing what the government and other disaster relief organisation are doing,” Reverend Naunisuwai said in a statement.
“We are calling on all Divisional Superintendents and Circuit Ministers to make available all church buildings and hall to serve as evacuation centres for all areas likely to be impacted by TC Keni.
“He advised that everyone is to be received with love and care and the safety of women and children was to be prioritised.
“Our community members who are with disability and our senior citizens, also those who are with mental health should be identified and helped,” he said.
Divisional superintendents, circuit ministers and local churches not directly impacted by TC Keni were advised to collect clothing, beddings, eating utensils and mats.
“The items will be collected and they have been advised to drop them off at the Jubilee Hall, in Toorak, for our Disaster Management Unit to prepare for distribution to affected areas.”
Members were also told to adhere to the weather forecast and take all precautionary measures to avoid unwanted repercussions.
“Let us continue to practice Christ-like values and lend a helping hand to those who are in need,” he said.
“The Bible is very clear about loving your neighbours and that means regardless of ethnicity, religious or gender.”
Those directly affected are being remembered in prayers, he said.