16th Feb 2016
The citizens of Nauru will be more protected from disasters such as tsunamis, storm surges and strong winds after the appointment of a new coordinator to help establish a 24/7 Meteorological service, this week.
The meteorological service will be part of the newly established National Emergency Service (NES) and will be the first time in Nauru’s history that a weather service has been operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
While the Department of Transport had been providing critical weather information to international flights landing and departing the country, the establishment of the meteorological service will enable Nauru to capture long-term climate data which will be used measure the impact of climate change on the country.
The Department of Emergency Services which includes meteorology, life guard, fire, ambulance and the National Emergency Operations Centre will be housed in the proposed complex to be built with support from the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project. Technical assistance on equipment will be provided by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).
The BSRP project will also help to review the Disaster Risk Management Act to coordinate warnings to the general public with funding from the European Union in the coming 12 months.
Project Officer for the BSRP project, Noa Tokavou, commended the Nauru Government for its commitment to protecting its people, especially considering this is the first of its kind in the country.
“Access to reliable information in times of disaster is critical in protecting the lives and livelihoods of Nauru’s people and the Government’s commitment to this 24/7 service will ensure the impact of disaster is minimised in the future,” he said.
SPREP’s Meteorology and Climate Officer, Salesa Nihmei has also recognised the contribution this service will have congratulating the Nauru Government on its commitment.
“This is an incredible achievement for the meteorological community,” he said.
It is hoped these services will also support increased economic development in the country with the delivery of more efficient and accurate weather information that can be utilised by a range of different industries when planning business engagement with Nauru.
The European Union’s Ambassador for the Pacific Delegation the Hon. Andrew Jacobs said the reality of this work in the region has far reaching impacts that will benefit not only Nauru but other countries within the region.
“This information being provided by the new Meteorological Services of Nauru with the support of the National Emergency Operations Centre will help protect not only the people of Nauru but provide up-to-date weather information to surrounding countries.
“This very practical work that will benefit community members to the region is one of the reasons the European Union is so committed to this climate work to ensure we can understand the impacts of climate change into the future and protect as many people as we can,” he said.