April 05, 2012

Hotel owner not happy

13:28 Today
Report by: Masimeke Latianara

FBC News has now discovered the source of some of the information given to New Zealand and Australian media about the recent floods.

It was the owner of a hotel in Nadi who was not happy with the lack of information, and action, when floods struck the hotel last week.

Mohammed Naseev who resides in New Zealand and has invested heavily in the tourism industry in Fiji claimed to FBC News this morning that his calls for help during the floods fell on deaf ears.

Naseev owns the Hibiscus Pacific Resort in Nadi, a 200 room resort which was 60% damaged.

He claims he called the police and the fire authority all day Friday, but was told there was no boat available to rescue his guests.

Naseev claims there were 15 tourists in his hotel at the time and all would have perished if it was not for some i Taukei from a village nearby that came to their rescue and took them to the safety of the nearby Digicel Building.

Naseev says he has invested $44m in the business and he was disappointed with the Minister for Tourism who told the world that everything was fine in Fiji when no one came to his resort to see the damage done.

To add to his disappointment, Naseev claims, ‘til now there’s still no water or electricity at the resort, and no offers of assistance.

Naseev said he was frustrated that no one in Fiji came to his assistance despite the calls he made on the day of the floods so he rang media in New Zealand and Australia and told them of the severe effects of the disaster.

Earlier this week Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, was critical of those whom he said had spread exaggerated stories about the floods in overseas media.

Ministry of Tourism Permanent Secretary Elizabeth Powell says Naseev’s resort is near a flood prone area and they would have required considerable assistance during the height of the floods.

Powell says its unfortunate he decided to call the Australian and New Zealand media instead of calling organisations like DISMAC for assistance.

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