Rakiraki flood : residents demand action

By Anish Chand

The small rural town of Rakiraki is cleaning up today after flood waters inundated the town yesterday.

Shop owners and residents have called for urgent action to stop the flooding whenever there is heavy rain.

Property owners in the town were caught off-guard as there was no warning of flooding from the Fiji Meteorological Office.

The district started experiencing heavy rain at 10am yesterday, which continued whole day.

The Rakiraki town river broke its bank around 4pm and the town was flooded soon after.

The Fiji Met office issued its first heavy rain and flooding warning for Rakiraki at 5:15pm, almost an hour after flood waters entered the town and also closed some roads.

The town is closed today and no buses are operating as more rain is forecast.

Residents are not happy with how the government has made numerous promises to dredge the river and build more drains.

“Sorry to say but I don’t think the Minister can do anything because they have promised to clean the river and making proper drainage system after Winston and last flood but no action being taken,” said businesswoman Shameera Shiraz.

A Rakiraki resident Pushp Dass is demanding action from the Local Government minister.

“This government is not concerned. They are allocating millions for new market and a stadium. Why isn’t Mr Bala doing something for the flood issue and where’s the minister for waterways,” he said.

The weather office is forecasting periods of rain, heavy at times with squally thunderstorms for most parts of Fiji and warning heavy rain may lead to flooding.

Showers and thunderstorms will ease over most places by Tuesday.