Cash for Work Programme benefits flood affected victims
JOINT PRESS RELEASE: MINISTRY OF PROVINCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND THE UNITED NATIONS
(Suva, Fiji) - “I urge participants to absorb as much as you can from the cash for work programme, as it would fabricate your capability, your capacity and resilience towards disaster,” said Divisional Planning Office Western, Luke Moroivalu.
Chief guest during the Cash for Work programme workshop that was held in Nadi recently, he said come the next flood or disaster we should be prepared and be strong to face it, recover and move on again with our lives.
“One thing you must remember, disasters such as floods should be part of your life and we should accept it now, because it will not stop and will continue to come,” Moroivalu said.
“The Cash for Work programme is a small scale, short duration protection programme which started after the severe flooding that occurred in the western division between January and March this year. The programme has since been implemented in Rakiraki and Nadi.
“During these floods, local residents experienced hardships, lost days and weeks of income and some were displaced to emergency shelters and lost household possessions and assets while much of the essentials items were flooded,” he said.
Moroivalu said that there are still a number of communities affected by the floods which require a source of cash to support and assist in their immediate needs at least partial economic recovery.
“It was in this context that the programme “cash for work” was designed, as government and key stakeholders collectively believe that it will assist in restoring livelihood activities as well as preparedness for future floods,” Moroivalu said.
“The short term benefits of this programme are in great demand and are well appreciated by the beneficiaries that were identified in 25 different locations from Nadi urban, Peri-urban and rural areas.
“We all should be thankful to our partners in development who have come forward and assisted with the programme, especially to the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Australia who have provided funding as well as other UN Agencies such as UN Women, United Nations Volunteers, International Labour Organisation (ILO), and the Nadi Town Council who have provided in-kind support.
“The findings of the review demonstrated that the programme has helped to restore livelihoods and led to increased food security and even indirectly supported access to health and education services of the participants and their families,” UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Knut Ostby said. “The cash for work provided an opportunity to combine some immediate recovery efforts, with small but much needed cash injections directly to those affected by the floods. This reduced the risk of creating deeper debts, and has also resulted in the empowerment of the participants and positive impacts on family and community relations.”
A total of 865 beneficiaries have benefitted from the programme and 75 percent were women.
UNDP’s Governance Specialist and Team Leader, Sainimili Nabou said each beneficiary had been paid a total of $100 per week for the duration of two weeks.
“The objective of the workshop was to provide a platform for the four team leaders supervising the work around Nadi Town and their counterparts from the 25 villages and informal settlements to provide their inputs on how the cash for the work has benefitted their communities. Further, the team leaders and government officials deliberated on lessons learnt and what improvements could be made in the future using information from the implementation of current cash for work programme,” Nabou said.
29 year old Keresi Tamani a beneficiary of the programme said she had benefitted in terms of learning from each other’s skills and knowledge and putting them into practice. She now has her own backyard garden with cabbages, beans, chillies that has been transplanted from the community nursery.
“Our youths should learn to toil the land and work hard, there are many opportunities in the agriculture sector,” Tamani said.
“In this regards I would like to acknowledge the facilitators in initiating this programme because come the next flood, I assure you that I can stand on my two feet.”