Cook Islands in disaster-risk study
10 May, 2019, 3:45 pm
RAROTONGA, 10 APRIL 2019 (COOK ISLANDS NEWS) — A team from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is in Cook Islands to inspect some residential and commercial properties in an effort to improve disaster risk reduction.
The team led by ADB financial sector specialist Masud Nizami includes insurance and construction specialists. They would be looking into some properties on Rarotonga today and on Friday.
On Monday, they made a presentation to community leaders, outlining their intention and plans for the Cook Islands.
Nizami said ADB’s mission was to build disaster-risk resilience among people and businesses in the Pacific islands.
He said some of the world’s vulnerable countries were in the Pacific islands, so ADB decided to build resilience of these islands in a sustainable way.
“This mission is about doing a diagnostic study to see how ADB can assist individuals as well as businesses in the Cook Islands and several other countries,” Nizami said.
“Once a disaster happens, people suffer inconveniences as well as financial losses and this diagnostic study will aim to see how these inconveniences and losses can be minimised.”
The way to achieve this is through actions before and after disasters take place, he said.
Before a disaster, Nizami said people’s houses and shops and other businesses could be strengthened so that when the calamity strikes, the impact is lower.
After disaster, he said there should be an insurance mechanism to take care of the losses that had incurred.
“This diagnostic study will see how cost-effective financing as well as cost-effective insurance can be delivered to people and businesses of the Pacific islands countries.
“Part of the diagnostic study is to do an inspection of some of houses as well as the commercial properties so we identify certain vulnerabilities then we can assess the impact of disasters on these structures. Based on that assessment, we will determine how we can assist in strengthening those structures.”
Nizami said the budget for this project was yet to be determined, adding it would depend on the diagnostic study.
“We would like to inspect some residential and commercial properties and for that we need cooperation from the people in the Cook Islands and I will request that some home and business owners volunteer for this exercise.”
The study will cover five countries and the Cook Islands is the first one to be assessed. The other countries are Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, and Tonga.