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Fiji Time: 4:25 PM on Wednesday 24 September

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Drought does more damage

Shayal Devi
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

ABOUT 60 per cent of all natural disasters that strike Pacific Island countries are climate change related.

This was revealed by UN Women Pacific representative Cecilia Aipiri during the week-long Pacific partnerships to strengthen gender, climate change response and sustainable development workshop at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.

"4 per cent of all disasters are man-made and 36 per cent is geological," she said.

According to Ms Aipiri, droughts affected islanders more than flooding or cyclones.

"Droughts are slow disasters and they are hard to track and not popular.

"When we talk about climate change and disaster risk management, droughts are an issue that is almost never talked about."

She said long and short-term goals for ways in which disaster situations could be addressed needed to be implemented by governments.

"The signs of climate change are showing — slow sea level rise and change in air temperature is all tied together. The frequency of cyclones is increasing as is the intensity of hurricanes in the South Pacific."

She said many politicians were not investing in disaster risk reduction because there was no certainty as to when a disaster could happen.