[Mar 1 2016]
IN A STATEMENT TODAY OPPOSITION LEADER RO TEIMUMU KEPA CONFIRMED SHE HAS SOUGHT AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE PRIME MINISTER TO OFFER HIM THE FULL SUPPORT AND ACTIVE PARTICIPATION OF OPPOSITION MEMBERS IN THE CYCLONE WINSTON RECOVERY EFFORT.
Ro Teimumu said the Prime Minister was out of office, but she registered her request with his Personal Assistant and looked forward to a positive response this week.
Ro Teimumu said the devastation and tragedy was unprecedented. The entire nation needs to come together to ensure the relief campaign is effective and timely. And she was grateful to the International and local donors for their speedy and generous response.
The Opposition Leader announced that all SODELPA MP’s had agreed to deduct 10% of their annual salaries and allowances to be contributed to rehabilitation. The total contribution is expected to exceed $70,000. The Secretary General to Parliament has been instructed to ensure the deductions are processed.
Ro Teimumu said the Opposition does not have any budgetary allocation from which to lend support for disaster relief, however members were more than willing to contribute from their wages and salaries.
Ro Teimumu said the Opposition Caucus also resolved to support the recalling of Parliament to formalize adequate funding and realignment of approved expenditures for 2016 in order to divert funds to support the recovery effort.
The Leader, accompanied by Hon Tupou Draunidalo, Hon Isoa Tikoca and Hon Gavoka, made a brief initial tour to the affected Western areas including Sabeto, Lautoka, Ba, Tavua, and Ra. With Ratu Isoa Tikoca she had also visited Wainibuka and Tailevu. Ro Teimumu also visited villages in Rewa that were affected by tidal surges.
Ro Teimumu says every family in Fiji will be affected by Cyclone Winston. Many thousands of people are suffering physically and emotionally from the utter devastation inflicted. People will also be hurt by the economic downturn that will now follow through disrupted services such as FEA supply and its effect on businesses hotel & resort closures with resulting loss of employment. There would be flow on effects from this through some suppliers and in turn their employees.
Ro Teimumu said that while the level of devastation was both frightening and tragic, it was incredible and heartening to witness the spirit of the people, especially those who had lost everything. Almost everywhere we stopped the victims were happy to see us and offered to share what little they had in gratitude for our taking the time to visit.
It was a truly humbling and emotional experience. We salute the victims of Winston for their courage and fortitude.
Ro Teimumu Kepa