The National Federation Party says it is shocking that two years on from Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston, 50 percent of homes on Koro Island have not been rebuilt while villagers live in makeshift shelters.
NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad said even more alarming is the fact that the hardware companies have already been paid for cards issued to the villagers under the Help for Homes Initiative when reportedly no delivery was made
“While the hardware companies have received the money for material to be supplied to the affected villagers on Koro Island, the victims of the monstrous cyclone are still waiting for the material and once again have a decent shelter and roof over their heads”.
“We had raised this issue in December 2016 but the Attorney General had then treated it as a trivial matter, and later said the two companies who failed to supply material were not selected for the second round of the Help for Home Initiative and had also paid a unspecified fine”.
“14 months after we had raised our concern and two years on from Severe TC Winston, the Fiji Times revealed that half of the total number of homes on Koro, which was directly in the path of the Category 5 cyclone, have not been repaired while villagers are living in makeshift shelters”.
“Worse still, according to the news report, the invoices recording the purported delivery of materials have been signed without material actually reaching the victims”.
“Naturally the villagers feel robbed and cheated”.
“Anybody, let alone a government that professes equal citizenry and proclaims that the Bill of Rights on its 2013 Constitution more than adequately protects the weak and the vulnerable, should be greatly concerned and take immediate and decisive action”.
“We reiterate our call for a full and independent investigation into this fiasco because no business must be allowed to charge money for any service it cannot provide because it would be a scam to do so as it involves taxpayers funds”.