THE Japanese government has agreed to provide Fiji with equipment worth $6.4million to prepare for natural disasters.
The assistance was provided following a signing ceremony between the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of Works, Transport and Public Utilities. The equipment will be provided under JICA's Project for Improvement of Equipment for Disaster Risk Management.
Project team leader Nagatomo Noriaki said the equipment included a tide gauge for Viti Levu, communication infrastructure for remote areas, lightning detection system and other related equipment.
Mr Noriaki said the equipment would be installed in relevant locations and was expected to predict and provide early warning signals on any natural disaster before it could affect Fiji.
"The equipment being the latest technology will enhance capabilities of the disaster management staff at the Fiji Meteorological Service to provide effective data, weather forecasts and warnings in a timely manner," he said.
Mr Noriaki said the equipment would mitigate the impacts of natural disasters like hurricanes.
He said the procurement procedures under the project would commence in May next year and is expected to be completed with the help of Japanese engineers in two months.