Australia monitors flood aid in Fiji

Floodwater inundates shops in Fiji. [AFP]

Floodwater inundates shops in Fiji. [AFP]

Last Updated: Mon, 9 Apr 2012 08:27:00 +1000

The Australian Government says it is continuing to monitor the flood relief effort in Fiji.

Last week Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced Australia is contributing $US1 million to help people in the areas worst affected by the recent floods in Fiji.

An AusAID Minister-Counsellor in Fiji, John Davidson, told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat two extra staff have been sent to Fiji to help government and non-government agencies distribute emergency supplies.

"There are now about 109 evacuation centres supporting around 11,000 people," he said.

"We have been able to provide 350,000 water purification tablets, 2,000 water containers and more than 3,000 tarpaulins."

Health concerns

Aid agencies in Fiji are working to supply safe water supplies to the thousands of people displaced by the devastating floods.

The United Nation's Children's Fund, UNICEF says more than 14,000 people including 5,000 children have been forced to leave their homes.

UNICEF's Chief of Policy, Advocacy, Planning and Evaluation in Fiji, Samantha Cocco-Klein, says many of those affected by the floods do not have access to clean water.

She has told Pacific Beat there is concern the unsanitary water will cause diseases.

"A lot of places are still inaccessible, and it is just very hard to make sure that all the families have enough access to clean water," she said.

"Without clean water, we are quite concerned about leptospirosis which is transmitted both from skin contact with dirty water and from drinking it.

"And also in particular diahorrea and typhoid. As most people know, these can be real killers for children particularly for children under five once they get this."


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