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Rural issues an ongoing focus

This is an official message from Emergency Management Southland.

Despite a huge effort to talk to Southland farmers affected by last week’s flooding, there are concerns that some farmers who need help are not getting in touch, said Emergency Management Southland Controller Bruce Halligan.

“We are concerned that some farmers who may have already been contacted, and said they were coping, will need help as they assess the damage to their properties and begin to realise the amount of work and resource required.”

“Rural Support Trust and other organisations are well resourced to provide help – all they need to do is call 0800 787-254 and they can swing into action.”

“We are working hard to make sure that we reach the entire area affected by flooding, including areas further north and west such as Garston, Athol, lower Oreti, and Fiordland so that no-one is left out.

“People living on rural lifestyle blocks should get in touch with the Rural Support Trust if they have needs or information they would like to pass on.”

Rural Support Trust has been in contact with nearly 900 farmers over the past few days and has identified dozens of farmers that need significant help in clearing flood debris, fences, and other essential repair work.

“The Farmy Army, organised by Federated Farmers, was active over the weekend with dozens of volunteers doing great clean-up work at farms around Edendale, Riversdale and the lower Mataura area.”

There is still lots of work to do, however,and there is an ongoing call for volunteers, co-ordinated by Federated Farmers (fedfarm.org or facebook.com/fedfarmers).

“We’re concerned about small businesses across the region too – many of which may have been impacted by the flooding and suffered a disruption to trading or a loss of income. They may also be facing clean-up costs or other issues. Again, there is support available – all people need to do is get in touch with us and we can put them in contact with the right organisation or agency to provide advice or help.”

© Scoop Media

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