The churches role during disasters

CAN DO partners during a GIS mapping exercise in Sabeto, Nadi. Picture: SUPPLIED

THE National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) is working closely with churches and other stakeholders to ensure unfortunate events that unfolded in evacuation centres in past disasters were eliminated.

NDMO director Vasiti Soko shared this while officiating at a recent safe and readiness training attended by various church representatives and stakeholders in Nadi.

“Where does the church step in to ensure that some of these unfortunate events are eliminated.

“The church is not only a safe hub during a natural disaster, it contributes positively to the mental health of evacuees and ensures to them that when there is no hope, God is the only hope.

“Church is not just about evacuation centres; they are not just the hub to house the evacuees when there is distress.”

Ms Soko said safe and readiness focused on building church preparedness capacities complementing current geographic information system (GIS) preparedness and response tools within the NDMO to provide lifesaving decisions.

She informed church leaders and representatives that they were the hopes and the strength needed in the event of a disaster. “Over the years, NDMO has been working closely with our partners.

In a nutshell, so much has happened with the relationship NDMO has built with our partners both in the precyclone event and during a disaster.”

She informed 40 participants that the data they provided in the events of a disaster would enable lifesaving decision-making.

The training was facilitated by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Fiji as the country entered yet another cyclone season.

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