Please help us with rations, residents plead

Residents of a settlement in the Muanikoso lockdown area are pleading with the Fijian Government to consider their plight after they were told that the area would remain closed for another 14 days.

This, after having already spent a month in lockdown, during which they claimed food rations, not enough to feed average households in the area was delivered only once, a fortnight ago.

“One month we’ve been locked down, we cannot leave our premises. We cannot leave our home.  The government, just give us food ration, last week the other week. Two solid weeks, and then the government assistance came,” Luisa Turaga, a resident told Mai TV.

“So it’s just a 4kg flour, 4kg of rice, a kg of dhal, four big tin fish, tomato sauce, 250 gram powdered milk and a packet of tea, the only food ration the government had donated to us.”

When asked if the ration was enough to fit an average household in the area, Turaga said: “No, some of these households have two married couples, in one family roughly there are 12 people inside. Like mine, there are eight, but I’m lucky, that only three are in our house and the others are in our farm. Some families have eight, 10, some 12.”

Two weeks on, the settlement that is home to more than 36 households has not had any additional food rations provided, Turaga said. Some were fortunate to have money to spend which they handed over to people manning the border to do their shopping. Majority has had to go without, because they have not been able to go out to sea to derive, not only food for their families, but also to sell for their source of income.

“So, from that time till now, we didn’t get anything at all, but we are still locked down, no going anywhere.

“To me it seems like in the bible, the leprosy people.  Today, at present, the ladies, the group of women in in my community made a little protest.  They just marched, they didn’t do anything. We came and said, “we want this to be lifted”. We don’t have any food because most of the people here they always go to the sea to catch prawns as they’re source of income. Now they can’t go and that is why… lockdown to be lifted, and if there can be a charity for food.”

When Mai TV left the area, the residents were told that food rations were being sorted, to be delivered to them.

Mai TV also visited Muanikoso Housing earlier in the afternoon as food rations were being delivered to residents there.

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