The first group of government officials that were deployed to the disaster affected areas in the Eastern Division have returned to Suva.

The Minister for Disaster Management, Hon. Inia Seruiratu joined the Director National Disaster Management Office and other personnel from the National Emergency Operations Centre to welcome the officials back and commend them for their efforts to carry out Detail Damage Assessments and distributing food ration and relief items.

Minister Seruiratu conveyed to the officers the appreciation of the Fijian Government, the Prime Minister and the people of Fiji for reaching out to those who were severely affected by Tropical Cyclone Harold.

“This is not over yet and we are looking forward to sending the next deployment in the first week of next month” said Minister Seruiratu.  

Meanwhile with the latest survey, about 635 homes across the country were destroyed by the TC Harold, with over 2,100 reported as damaged.

Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama has also announced on Friday that under the Rural Housing Assistance programme, the Ministry of Housing and Community Development is working to provide relief to vulnerable households as quickly as possible.  

“As has been the case in the wake of previous cyclones, we’ll be subsidising the cost of government-procured building materials for eligible households –– those making less than $15,000 a year -– on a one-third, two-thirds basis” said Prime Minister Bainimarama.  

The Prime Minister added that alternatively, those applying for assistance can cover the cost of all building materials, but pay more affordable rates thanks to government bulk-buying, and then have those discounted materials delivered to them with all shipping costs covered.  

“Trees felled by the cyclone are also being repurposed into timber that will be provided free-of-charge for impacted homes by the Ministry of Forestry” PM Bainimarama said.

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