On 20 April 2016, Australia announced an additional package of $20 million to support longer term recovery and reconstruction efforts following Tropical Cyclone (TC) Winston. This funding is focused on returning life to normal in Fiji by rebuilding critical infrastructure.
Australia is helping the Fiji Government to rebuild schools and health facilities destroyed by the cyclone, replace damaged medical equipment and restore water and sanitation services. Australia is also repairing damaged markets and building accommodation facilities for women vendors to enable farmers and vendors to return to work. Australia’s focus throughout the recovery work has been on building stronger, more resilient buildings, complying with Fiji’s National Building Code and ensuring that all facilities are inclusive for women, children and people with disabilities.
Recovery support to education
Australia has committed $14 million to the education sector, working with the Fiji Government to repair or rebuild 34 damaged or destroyed schools.
Repairs to 16 schools with minor damage were completed in late 2016 and the rebuilding of 18 schools that sustained more significant damage began in November 2016. Of these 18 schools, 12 are in Ra province and six are on Koro island.
Recovery support to health
Australia has committed $3 million to repair health facilities, provide medical equipment and restore water and sanitation services.
The largest project is the Waimaro Health Centre in Ra Province. After the Centre was destroyed by TC Winston, Australia provided a temporary nursing station to allow services to continue at the site, and in June 2017, work began rebuilding the Centre. The Health Centre has been upgraded to be a larger and better adapted building, able to provide more specialised services to the surrounding area and is expected to be complete in early 2018.
Australia is also supporting the upgrade of the Nasau Health Centre on Koro island which was damaged during TC Winston. The work is expected to be complete in mid-2018.
Along with support to health facilities, Australia has been working with partners to restore water and sanitation services to remote communities. This has included building toilets in villages and helping re-establish access to water in relocated communities on Koro.
Recovery support to markets
Of the recovery funding, Australia committed $3 million to repairing or rebuilding markets damaged by TC Winston.
The largest project is the Rakiraki Municipal Market,an excellent example of co-financing between the Australian and Fijian Governments, with Australia contributing FJD3.2 million (approximately AUD2 million) and Fiji providing the remaining FJD2.64 million (AUD1.67 million). The majority of the 220 market vendors are women from rural villages in Ra Province. The new women’s accommodation centre Australia is building with the market will ensure that they are able to sell their goods and maintain their income at all times. The work is scheduled to be completed in April 2018.
Australia’s support to Koro island
Koro island was one of the worst affected parts of Fiji following TC Winston. The HMAS Canberra, one of Australia’s largest naval vessels, was positioned off Koro for almost one month following the cyclone, providing engineering teams that restored water supply, cleared debris, repaired schools and health facilities, and supported immediate shelter needs. Since then, we have continued to support the rebuilding of schools and health facilities, and the restoration of water and sanitation facilities. This fact sheet provides an overview of ongoing recovery support.
Infographic: Australia's response to help Fiji recover from Tropical Cyclone Winston
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