Scores of people from Ra, Tavua, Ba, Lautoka, Tailevu and Taveuni have called us alleging #racial #discrimination in the distribution of food rations to cyclone victims.
The calls have come from members of the Indian community, thousands of whom are amongst the worst hit victims of Cyclone Winston.
We have verified their claims with our representatives and have been advised that the allegations are true.
It is alleged that severely devastated Indian settlements in these areas have not as yet been visited by government officials. While truck loads of relief assistance is handed out in their neighbouring areas, people in these settlements are told to wait until the DISMAC survey is completed and assessments made as to who should be assisted.
We have requested the Fiji Human Rights and #Anti-Discrimination Commission to investigate these claims and take action as appropriate.
A spokesperson, Reverend James Bhagwan, said its plan included short, medium and long-term measures. Reverend Bhagwan said while the government and other agencies were focusing on distributing food rations, people needed other goods immediately.
"Cooking utensils, clothing - a lot of people have lost their clothes and all they have is what they are wearing for the last few days, we also realise that as rice and flour and cooking and food ingredients are being delivered, they also need to be able to cook. So we are looking at cooking utensils, kerosene stoves, kerosene lights et cetera."
Reverend Bhagwan said the Methodist Church was looking into how its 32 schools could be repaired as soon as possible.
He said it would also bring in specialist disaster chaplains from Australia to train local ministers in helping people recover emotionally.