NEWS

Fiji Floods: UNICEF and partners help re-equip flood-affected schools

Tuesday 10 April 2012, 5:52PM
By UNICEF New Zealand
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Flood-affected schools in the Western Division of Suva are to re-open today after being closed for over a week due to flood damage.  UNICEF is working with partners to re-equip schools and welcome back children whose lives have been devastated by the floods.

More than 14,000 people, including 5,000 children, have been displaced from their homes due to flooding. Water and electricity shortages are occurring across the area making it difficult for families to maintain adequate hygiene and increasing risk of leptospirosis, diarrhea and typhoid. To combat this UNICEF is distributing water and sanitations kits together with the ‘school-in-a-box’ kits.

Dennis McKinlay, Executive Director at UNICEF NZ, said, “We want families to get back to their normal lives as soon possible. Of particular concern is the continued loss of teaching and learning hours of students many of which had already lost class time with the flooding in January, therefore it is important that we assist schools to reopen as soon as possible.”

‘School in a box’ and recreation and early childhood kits are being distributed to schools. Each kit contains a blackboard, pencils, exercise books and crayons to re-establish each school’s learning resources.

UNICEF NZ is monitoring the situation in Fiji and is currently responding to concerns over access to clean water for both drinking and bathing. In response, UNICEF with the Fiji Red Cross is disturbing water and sanitation kits to families in need, including 1000 being delivered over the weekend.

Help children in Fiji by donating at www.unicef.org.nz/EmergencyFund