2 Apr | 2012
The Salvation Army has launched an appeal to support flood-ravaged Fiji as the island nation braces itself for a tropical storm that is predicted to intensify to cyclone force.
A state of natural disaster has been declared for most of Fiji’s Western Division after heavy flooding killed four people and forced thousands into evacuation centres over the weekend.
Salvation Army centres in Lautoka and Nadi are being used as evacuation centres. People have also been taking refuge in The Salvation Army’s premises in Ba. Salvation Army staff and volunteers have been deployed to assist in the emergency situation.
‘The people of Fiji were already suffering after January’s floods,’ says Major Iliesa Cola, The Salvation Army’s Divisional Commander in Fiji. ‘These floods are much worse. There is continuous heavy rain and strong wind all around the country, with power cuts and no water supply in the Western side of the island of the main island of Viti Levu.
‘This natural disaster will have terrible economic implications for our country, but at the moment our priority has to be for people’s safety and wellbeing. Food, clothing, clean water and shelter are the most immediate needs.
‘Our people are working hard to help people. We greatly value the support of those outside the country to strengthen our efforts. It is already clear that a long-term response will be needed in those areas most affected. The whole country will be affected by these floods. We will need all the assistance we can get at this time.’
The Salvation Army is requesting financial assistance only, not donations of food or clothing, as it is difficult to get such donations through to Fiji. Monetary donations mean The Salvation Army can assist the struggling economy by purchasing local goods to meet people’s needs.
Salvation Army churches across New Zealand will take up ‘love offerings’ from church members during Sunday services over coming weeks to add to the Fiji Flood Appeal.
Please specify that the donation is to be directed for ‘Fiji Flood Appeal’ purposes when donating.