A COMMUNITY hall that will serve as an evacuation centre for families living in a flood prone area in Ba will open today.
The hall at Nawaqarua was constructed with funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through its Strengthening Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (SCBRM) project.
It cost about $55,000.
A JICA statement said prior to today's opening ceremony, Nawaqarua villagers w participate in evacuation drills conducted by the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) Ba District and JICA project team members.
"JICA is glad to be associated with the Ministry of Provincial Development and the Ba District Office in strengthening the implementation of community-based disaster management plans," the statement said.
"This includes awareness programs for villagers for early evacuation, conducting evacuation drills, installation of simplified rain and flood gauges and development of evacuation plans for villagers."
The SCBDRM is a regional project which was implemented in Fiji and the Solomon Islands in October 2010 and continues until October next year with a total budget of $US3.4m ($F6.1m) for both countries.
JICA's resident representative Shumon Yoshiara and deputy secretary at Ministry of Provincial Development Peni Ratumaitavuki will officiate at today's opening.