Fiji’s National Disaster Management Act (1998) AND National Disaster Management Plan (1995) begin on overhaul today ensuring the lessons learned from the most severe cyclone to ever hit the country are incorporated into the new legislative agreements for disaster management in the country. Climate change and the risk of disaster is apparent in the Pacific and Fiji Government today begins a consultative review process to ensure its legislative frameworks respond to both present and future needs in disaster management.
As part of the review process, a Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Review Workshop was held today, where representatives from across relevant government ministries were brought together to discuss the overview of the Disaster Risk Management review process as well as the recommended priority focus area for the new DRM Framework.
Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Rural & Maritime Development, Disaster Management, and Meteorological Services, Loata Vakacegu said “The need to review the Act and Plan has been a long outstanding issue. On behalf of the Government of Fiji, I commend and thank the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in partnership with the Fiji Red Cross Society for the timely support. I would also like to mention here the generous assistance provided by the European Union and the technical support made available to Fiji for this Project from the Pacific Community under its Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Program.”
Since starting the review, several priority areas have been highlighted to be incorporated into the updated National DRM act, such as the role of climate change in disaster as well as the importance of supporting disaster coordination across all communities. The DRM Act review is also addressing the needs of vulnerable groups as it is important that there are structures in place to ensure they are taken care of in times of disaster.
Vakacegu adds, “we are confident that at the end of this review, we will have a comprehensive disaster management plan and act that will prepare us for the future”