PRESS RELEASE: March 17 2010
Rotary already providing aid in Fiji
Emergency Response Kits (ERKS) are already in Fiji and being handed out by Rotarians on the ground following the devastating category four Cyclone Tomas that swept through parts of Fiji in the past few days.
The ERKs contain practical items like water treatment tablets, basic first aid materials, matches, candles, tools and roofing nails and plastic cover sheets.
Stuart Batty, a director of Rotary New Zealand’s World Community Service programme, says 142 of the kits were already stored in Fiji ready should a cyclone strike, or a repeat of the floods in Fiji in February last year. Another 335 ERKs are ready to be sent to Fiji from Auckland as soon as Rotarians there have assessed the situation today.
“Early indications from Fiji are that the ERKS are needed in badly affected communities particularly in the smaller islands which seem to have taken the full force of the cyclone,” Mr Batty says.
A state of disaster was declared in northern and eastern parts of Fiji yesterday as the cyclone moved southeast out to sea towards the Lau Island group. The Fiji Government and aid agencies are assessing the damage as they are able to get to each community and outer island.
Leanne Jaggs, who is Rotary’s District Governor for an area that covers much of the Pacific Islands, says she is working with Rotarians on the ground in Fiji to assess just what is needed immediately and then over the next few months.
“We are conscious of the requests for help we have made not only to Rotarians here in New Zealand, but to the public for the various emergency responses to the earthquake and tsunami in Samoa, but also the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile,” Mrs Jaggs says. “Now we need more help for Fiji. But New Zealanders understand the devastation caused by earthquakes, tsunami, floods and cyclones. I am sure they will response with their usual generosity.”
Rotary NZ is running an appeal for funds through a Westpac Bank account.
Donations can be made through internet banking Westpac 03 1702 0192208 01 or cheques can be made payable to RNZWCS Limited and posted to PO Box 20309, Christchurch, New Zealand 8543.
For more information contact:
Leanne Jaggs Media: Felicity Anderson
Mob: 021 908 644 Mob: 021 22 40 520
Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org