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Disaster awareness

Mere Naleba
Tuesday, June 03, 2014

THERE is a need to set common ground in communication during natural disasters, Minister for National Disaster Management Lieutenant Colonel Inia Seruiratu said during the 6th Pacific Platform for Disaster Risk Management yesterday.

Lt-Col Seruiratu, in addressing about 200 people from regional corporate bodies that deal with Disaster Risk Management and other related stakeholders, said Fiji was moving forward in terms of informing members of the public on what to do and how to react during a disaster.

He said the sharing of experiences on natural disasters happened in the past years and this helped island nation leaders to improve their understanding during the pre-disaster and post-disaster periods.

"Many achievements have been made over the years as outputs and outcomes of previous platforms in the region," Lt-Col Seruiratu said.

"These achievements should be maintained and further nurtured for the sake of our people and communities."

With the theme of the three days' workshop titled — The Way Forward: Climate Change and Disaster Resilient Development for the Pacific, Lt-Col Seruiratu said the theme alone was a bold statement that indicated that remarkable progress had been achieved in terms of attempts by Pacific countries to enhance disaster and climate resilience through a holistic approach.

"We cannot continue to work in silos as individual sectors, ministries and communities and hope to create an enabling and sustainable environment for our people," he said.

"We need to close the divide between national and sub-national levels with clear policies and guidelines that are both vertical and horizontal to drive our efforts."

He said the Fiji Government was committed to addressing areas which involved Disaster Risk Management by setting aside funding in budget allocations for the specific work of rehabilitating and reconstructing lives of those affected by natural disasters.

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