27th March 2018
Suva, Fiji- To strengthen national coordination during the disaster season, the European Union (EU) through the Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific (BSRP) Project, implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC), provided the Fiji National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) with a Mobile Emergency Operations Centre, valued at FJD 59,000.
The Nissan NP300 handed over by EU Head of Cooperation -Delegation for the Pacific Mr Christoph Wagner to Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development, Disaster Management, and Meteorological Services, Mr. Meleti Bainimarama, will be used in disaster preparedness and response phase to assist the NDMO in transporting people to evacuation centres or to health centres if need be. The vehicle will also be used for community disaster awareness work and to maintain communication between Emergency Operation Centres (EOC’s) in case of telecommunication break down.
‘‘We are very proud of the work born out of the partnership between the BSRP Project and Fiji NDMO. This emergency vehicle is a result of the need identified by the Project to strengthen NDMO capacity. What we see here before us is only a small glimpse into a larger chain of activities the Project and NDMO are working on to build national disaster resilience’, Mr. Bainimarama said.
Apart from the vehicle, the project, in partnership with the Fiji NDMO, has refurbished three Emergency Operation Centres (EOC’s) around the country, installed water tanks in drought-prone areas, and the relocation of Tukuraki village following a massive landslide. These are some of several activities created by the project to increase resilience against natural disasters and climate change.
Speaking at the handover, the Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation for the Pacific, Mr Christoph Wagner said ‘The EU is pleased to support the Fiji NDMO through the provision of an emergency vehicle which will help to link with evacuation centres or health centres. We hope that today’s handover will enable the NDMO to increase the operational capacity of their team before, during and after disasters”.
‘As we are in the midst of disaster season, the handover of the emergency vehicle is a timely reminder to all Pacific Islanders that we need to take a proactive approach to disaster preparedness. Let us not wait until we hear the warning siren to prepare, we must prepare for future disasters today’ SPC Deputy Director of the Disaster and Community Resilience Programme, Rhonda Robinson said.