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Today we organized the setting up of our office in Suva since everybody came to the office today. I did mention the importance of working together the Banaban Trust Fund Board, the Banaban Limited and Rabi Council of Leaders. I have informed our groups in Suva in regard to the setting of the RCL DISMAC UNIT including Nawaia giving his time as one of our volunteers. Ofati Tati is here fulltime to try and get Banaban recruits for quick and fast job intakes with fishing companies operating in Fiji, and Cr.Manate who is here to facilitate smooth running and coordination of Banaban Limited so that we provide better services to our people back on Rabi. Since they are responsible for kava and copra purchasing on the island. Our important ice-plant has been knocked down and damaged by the cyclone and this further worsens our effort to revive fishing operation on the island (Rabi).
We are trying our best to open until 10pm, so that we give opportunities to those from overseas to reach us and we will try to run this programme for the next 3 weeks or until such a time we feel that we can appropriately mitigate the priority needs on the island.
Today at 2.30pm I had an urgent meeting with the PM's office officials who look after our affairs on Rabi, and have provided them a preliminary report on the impact of hurricane Thomas on the island. They now await the full assessment report from our side to fully grasp the extent of damage on the island. I have sighted the report given to me by the PM's office, and I feel it has not captured the entire damage, but I applaud their initiative due to the comprehensive and large extent of work they needed to cover in only two days, they were supposed to cover both Kioa and Rabi. Can I also correct an article on the two gentlemen who went back to do their assessment, infact I did not tell them to go back to Rabi, but relayed the matter to DO Tukavesi, that they did only two villages on Rabi, it was the DO Tukavesi that sent them back to Rabi culminating in the brief assessment report to the PM.
What I will do is do a comparative analysis of both reports and again present to the PM's office, they have agreed and are awaiting the outcome of the detailed RCL sanctioned assessment report by our own DISMAC team on Rabi, inclusive of village councillors and village committees.
Commissioner Northern has reiterated Fiji government's help to flow out this Wednesday to Rabi and the ration is only earmarked for 2weeks, he has warmed me though that most of the Vanual Levu food supply has almost exhausted, thus the assistance will depend on the consistency of the supply. That is my worry for now, hopefully comes that time, Fiji Government will have more suppliesd ready for Rabi. Beside the entire Labasa or northern and Eastern area are all devasted 100% in agriculture. This is a relative impact of the damages so it is going to be difficult which place is going to be prioritized first.
This evening we met up with the High Commissioner of Kiribati Government, she is very supportive of our assistance drive and has promised to get some stuff to our office tomorrow. I have given her the copy of the preliminary assessment by the PM's office and she has pledged that she will try to take it to the Peretitenti Anote Tong, when she reaches Kiribati this week. She will fly tomorrow to Kiribati. She informed us that the Peretitenti has been phoning her to enquire about our situation, I can only be thankful for them in this time of need.
Well that's all from our side today
Dr Bauro Vanualailai
Rabi Council of Leaders