Women prepare for cyclone season

WITH more than a week left to the start of the 2016/2017 cyclone season, FemLINKPacific believes simple and accessible communication is important to convey timely weather alerts.

Executive producer-director Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls said this would enable women in the communities to participate in disaster preparedness activities.

“We need to make sure that women are participating at all times and at all levels because natural disasters affect us all differently,” Ms Bhagwan-Rolls said.

“We need to think about the gendered implications but also who we are and where we are situated.

“We hope the Fiji Meteorological Service will ensure that community media as well as public media organisations receive their advisories and alerts,” she said.

Ms Bhagwan-Rolls made these comments in response to the recent Tropical Cyclone Seasonal Outlook, which predicted that two to three cyclones were expected to pass through Fiji.

“Rural women leaders already have extensive networks as well as a grasp of the needs of the community yet continue to be left out of planning as well as official response and relief efforts.

“It is vital to organise preparedness plans now,” she said.

Caulasi, Rakiraki advisory councillor Nila Rao said the community members had already begun preparing for the coming cyclone season.

“We are buying thick ropes and wire to secure our houses and essentials like torches with batteries, candles, tinned and bottled food,” Ms Rao said.

“We are also restocking the First-Aid box and putting them together in a bag which we can just grab in an emergency,” she added.

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