The west has experienced severe flooding, but talking tonight with Sanjit Patel, President of the Rotary Club of Nadi, he reports a sunny day to day with flood water receding.
Tragically there has been further loss of life.
Vanu Levu, with Savusavu and Labasa are still forecast to have more heavy rain.
The Rotarian team in Fiji, led by Bob Niranjan is co-ordinating Rotary efforts in Fiji. President Rick Eyre and club members of Lautoka Rotary, and President Sanjit Patel of Nadi Rotary, are working in the Nadi area and the West to identify needs and assist. The feeling is now that the rain has eased the problems are being identified and the real assistance is required. 40 Emergency Response kits have been distributed and there will be many more in the coming days [for more information about Emergency Response Kits go to www.rnzwcs.org.nz ]
Food is a major issue and a coordinated Fiji-wide Rotary effort is already underway. The Fiji Rotary clubs have already donated $6000 for food parcels which are being sourced and distributed to those in need in the west. The Suva clubs are actively involved, with the Rotary Clubs of Suva contributing 250 pieces of clothing going tomorrow, and 100 food packs despatched this morning, both for distribution by the Lautoka club.
Rotary Club of Nadi has been actively involved tonight working with the Rama Krishna Mission in cooking and distributing food with more parcels planned in the coming days.
Rotary NZ World Community Services coordinator, PDG Stuart Batty, is based in Christchurch and continues to liaise with MFAT and Rotary leaders in Fiji. He plans to travel to Fiji on Sunday.
The team is doing a great job helping others in need. The preplanning and placement of Emergency Response Kits in secure locations in Fiji is proving to be of great benefit - they are on the spot and being distributed as needed without delay.
My question to Bob has been, how can we in New Zealand and other parts of the Pacific help? It is likely this will be in the form of monetary donations to assist mainly with meeting a need for food which may go on for some time. The team is working on how his can best be done in a coordinated way and I will be talking to him further over the next 48 hours.
Club Presidents, you may recall me saying during our preparation for 2011/12 year that i was not intending to have requests go out for funding of district projects etc, but requested you allow for assistance that may be required in the event of a natural disaster. This looks like it will be that event and I will appreciate it if you can give thought as to how your club may be able assist, most likely by way of monetary contributions for food parcels and others necessities. I will be in touch in the coming days.
To those Rotarians in Fiji, I extend on behalf of D9920 our thanks for the work you are doing to assist those in need in your communities, and send our best wishes to you all.
Rotary International District 9920.