Government’s rehabilitation operations after the recent cyclones will be a hot topic when Parliament sits again next week.
Expect the Opposition to attack Government and Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama over the way rehabilitation has been conducted.
It is understood that the Business Committee sat in the Big Committee Room in Parliament yesterday to discuss Order Papers for next week’s session.
The committee members included the Minister for Economy and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Government Whip Ashneel Sudhakar, National Federation Leader Dr Biman Prasad, Leader of the Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa and Mere Samisoni. They met the Speaker of Parliament, Dr Jiko Luveni.
Government Whip Ashneel Sudhakar said while there would be a lot of oral questions, some interesting debates would be on Government’s plans for those affected by the recent cyclones.
Tropical Cyclone Josie and TC Keni caused massive flooding and damage to infrastructure, especially in the Western Division. They will generate a lot of questions next week.
Mr Sudhakar said there would be presentations on some reports which were tabled in Parliament last month and the consideration of a few Bills.
Mr Bainimarama and Minister for Agriculture and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu, two members of the committee, missed the meeting.
Mr Bainimarama left for Nadi where he flew out to London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). In Nadi he met Mr Seruiratu and Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya, who accompanied him to CHOGM.
The National Federation Party had said in an earlier statement that it wanted Government to declare a state of emergency in parts of Fiji which were affected by floods caused by Tropical Cyclone Josie.
The NFP urged Government to quickly distribute rations and approve cash grants.
It called on the Government to divert COP23 presidency funds to relief efforts.
The Government has been prompt in delivering relief supplies to the affected people and has announced grant assistance for farmers as it begins to roll out a series of rehabilitation initiatives.
Meawhile, SODELPA party leader Sitiveni Rabuka has called on the Government not to downplay its responsibility in providing urgent assistance to the people so they do not wait in vain waiting for supplies during natural disasters.
Mr Bainimarama personally visited many areas hit by floods and spoke to ordinary people to cheer them up.
The Disaster Management teams followed up with supplies.
This weekend a team is in Kadavu assessing and assisting those affected by TC Keni in the 75 villages in Kadavu.
The Fiji Police Force, Republic of Fiji Military Forces and Non-Government Organisations have been out there helping in relief efforts.
The fact that there were no casualties during Cyclone Keni proves that Government strategies in disaster preparedness are working.
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