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Emergency centre opens

Repeka Nasiko
Saturday, March 03, 2018

CO-ORDINATING emergency responses during and after natural disasters will be delivered more efficiently in Tavua with the opening of a new Emergency Operations Centre yesterday.

Assistant Minister for Rural and Maritime Development, National Disaster Management and Meteorological Services Joeli Cawaki said past disasters, such as the floods of 2009, 2012 and tropical cyclones, had highlighted the need to have an operations centre in the rural centre.

"In the Western Division, some of the geographical locations made it more vulnerable to natural disasters and it is necessary to have a standard emergency centre where operations can be effectively controlled and managed during natural disasters," he said.

"For us in Tavua, we are faced with a lot of flooding similar to that in Rakiraki so the refurbished EOC will enable our DISMAC teams to plan their work and coordinate emergency response teams.

"This is the fourth emergency operations centre that has been refurbished across Fiji basically to increase our disaster preparedness and also our communications before, during and after a disaster."

Commissioner Western Manasa Tagicakibau said the new operations centre would make their work easier.

"This is something that we have been trying to get for Tavua for some time," he said.

"In the past, before the refurbishment, we were not sure how the District Officer's office in Tavua were carrying out their emergency response but with this new office and the new equipment, we anticipate their work to improve and we will be able to coordinate our work properly."

It was funded by the European Union through the Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific (BSRP) project.

The EOC refurbishment cost $75,917, which also included the equipment installed in the new facility.

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