OUT of concern for the poor and the most vulnerable, the government undertook disaster preparedness courses for people living in informal settlements in Lautoka.
The two-week campaign ended last week with the graduation of 50 people from flood-prone areas.
Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki and Lautoka's special administrator Praveen Bala were present at the event which emphasised the importance of awareness and reducing the threat of disaster damage and loss. The participants included settlers from Natabua Seaside, Velovelo and Navutu.
Cdr Cawaki said the government was targeting informal sectors in its disaster awareness programs to learn how to reduce risks during and after a disaster.
"The informal settlements are our vulnerable community and these people need to be well-versed with risk reduction," he said.
"These settlers always suffer during natural disasters and this two-week course was to educate them to minimise damage and cost.
"This workshop will benefit these settlers and we have received a positive response from the people."
The workshop was organised by the commissioner's office, Lautoka City Council and the Pacific Countries Focus Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction.
Natabua Seaside resident Taniela Bati said the workshop gave him hope.
"Most of us give up hope every time it floods or during a cyclone, mainly because we don't know what to do," said Mr Bati.
"But after this workshop we know our limits and what we can do to reduce risk and damage before, during and after a disaster."