Fiji: Drought - Sep 1998
Most read reports
- OCHA: UNDAC Mission Report Fiji Drought. 27 Oct 1998
- WMO: El Niño - 1998 Global Surface Temperature: Highest by a Wide Margin. 17 Dec 1998
- OCHA: Fiji - Drought OCHA Situation Report No. 2. 16 Dec 1998
- UNDP: Poverty and poor preparation increase toll from natural disasters. 20 Oct 1998
- IMF: IMF Concludes Article IV Consultation with Fiji. 1 Oct 1998
According to WMO(*) Annual Statement on the Global Climate
Fiji - Drought
OCHA Situation Report No. 2
A United Nations report on the prolonged drought affecting Fiji says fifteen thousand families are on the brink of starvation.
The report, compiled by a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination team, says the families are dependent on cane farm labour and domestic garden sales.
It says the families, mostly in the country's western division, have had no means of income for the past nine months.
The report recommends that the government make welfare provisions of 15 million US dollars for the next six months.
The UN team also recommended that if the situation does not improve, …
Serious drought conditions are threatening half of Fiji's sugar cane crop, and the survival of 270,000 people. One half of the country has had no significant rainfall in more than seven months. The worst affected areas include western Viti Levu, western Vanua Levu and the Yasawa island group. The government has distributed food to 105,000 people.
New York, 20 October 1998 - Extreme poverty and the failure of government authorities to adequately prepare for natural disasters have cost nations dearly in loss of life and livelihoods in the past month.
Public Information Notice (PIN) No. 98/77
On September 14, 1998 the Executive Board concluded the Article IV consultation with Fiji. 1/
The Fiji and Australian governments have begun discussions about a long-term rehabilitation programme for agricultural areas affected by the drought in Fiji.
Australia's High Commissioner in Suva Greg Urwin, says the current talks are aimed at identifying those parts of the agricultural sector which need help.
But it'll be another 2 to 3 months before that part of the programme is complete.
The Australian government has already given more than a quarter of a million Australian dollars for immediate drought relief.
=A9 1998 Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Fiji's Deputy Prime Minister, Taufa Vakatale, has appealed to the United Nations Development Support System to consider special schemes covering national disaster situations.
Ms Vakatale made the appeal while addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York after highlighting the problems affecting Fiji as a result of the drought.
She called for UN support and used examples of such schemes contained in the Lome Convention between the European Union member countries and African, Caribbean and Pacific states.
Ms Vakatale also welcomed changes in the area of nuclear …
Fiji's Weather Bureau says recent rain in drought-affected areas of the country is an encouraging sign of gradual improvement.
Parts of Fiji have not had substantial rain for almost a year -- but some good falls have been recorded in western parts of the country over the past few days.
The Bureau says more rain is on the way over the next few months -- as the El Nino weather pattern fades away, to be replaced by the La Nina pattern, which usually brings good rain.
But the recent rain is not enough to rescue drought-stricken sugar cane crops.
Soil moisture content is so low …
The Fiji Cabinet will begin looking for savings in Government expenditure -- to help pay for the on-going drought relief effort.
The drought has affected western Viti Levu and north-western Vanua Levu for almost one year, causing serious damage to sugar cane crops.
The number of people requiring Government assistance to get food and water has almost doubled since June -- to 150-thousand.
The relief effort is costing the Government two million U-S dollars per month.
Cabinet Secretary Jioji Kotobalavu says some Government projects will be delayed -- to make funds available …
Thousands of people living in Fiji's drought affected areas are facing a major water crisis.
And, as Karan Pillay reports from Suva, a number of large islands are also desperately short of water.
The worst affected areas are in the western part of the main island of Vitu Levu and the Northern side of Vanua Levu. Water in reservoirs in these areas have dropped to critical levels as catchments dry up. Metered water supply to Lautoka city and neighbouring Nadi town have been irregular for some time and breakages in main water lines in recent days havn't helped either.
Ref. OCHA/GVA - 98/0278
Fiji - Drought
OCHA Situation Report No. 1
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have said that they were preparing to assist the Government of Fiji in the assessment of the present drought.
The worst drought in the nation's history is occurring with dry conditions since last October. 28,000 households are affected, especially in the western Viti Levu sugar cane areas. It is expected that 10% of sugar producers will harvest no sugar this season and another 30% will have significantly reduced harvests. The sugar industry is expected to lose at least $US49 million in earnings this year. To help with the situation, Australia is donating $US 72,000 in emergency assistance to affected families for food and clothing. The drought is expected to last at least through August.