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Fiji Time: 2:29 AM on Thursday 17 April

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Seminar focus on disaster management

Ana Madigibuli
Monday, January 21, 2013

ENGINEERS, architects, planners and relevant stakeholders were part of the third session of the outcomes, lessons implementation and relevance post disaster engineering seminar at Tanoa Hotel in Suva on Friday.

Minister for Local Government, Urban Development and Housing Colonel Samuela Saumatua said the main purpose of the seminar was to thoroughly deliberate on the outcomes, implementations and relevance to the Fiji building code and other laws relating to disaster preparedness and management.

He said the presence of engineers, architects, planners, insurance companies, banks and financial institutions reassured the ministry and government that they would use the opportunity to look back at Fiji's past.

"They can determine the problems and obstacles that contribute to the excessive damage left behind by Tropical Cyclone Evan," Col. Saumatua said.

"The problems that we had encountered after TC Evan shook us out of our comfort zones and made us realise that we need to move away from the complacency of the past and ensure a decent level of preparedness."

He said Fiji had to act now to rectify the existing challenges in its structural integrity and in doing so look at not only the technical aspects but also the legislation.

"I wish to remind us that climate change is here to stay and it can only get worse," Col. Saumatua said.

"We need to boost our preparedness by planning for cyclones that are likely to be stronger than anything we have experienced so far."