Caption: Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka chairs the meeting of the National Disaster Management Council (NDMC) in Suva on September 5.
SUVA – Members of the National Disaster Management Council (NDMC) were reminded of the need to work together to ensure all are prepared for any disaster, given that the 2023-2024 Cyclone Season is less than two months away.
In addressing members of the Council during a meeting on September 5, NDMC Chairperson and Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka reiterated the importance of the meeting of the Council members in the lead-up to the incoming cyclone season.
He also reminded the members that their participation in such meetings would determine how well future response efforts would be delivered.
“We must get ourselves organised as a Government to ensure that if a disaster happens, we are ready. One of the first things we need to address is the attitude that people have both externally, the general public, and internally, meaning the agencies, within the civil service, pre-disaster, during, and post-disaster. Some of these things are covered in the National Disaster Management Plan. These attitudes will determine how we proceed with our plans. It may be not important now, but during a disaster, it will be of utmost importance to the nation to ensure that we are ready,” Hon. Ditoka told the Council members.
“The expectations of the people are very high. They expect us to know the answers to everything. They have the right to think like that as taxpayers. This is why it’s very important that we come together and think about these solutions before the cyclone season starts in November.”
“We must make sure that whatever we give to the people is the very best of what we can offer,” he added.
Members of the Council discussed a wide range of issues during yesterday’s meeting. These included the upcoming National Disaster Awareness Week (NDAW), Anticipatory Action for Fiji Cluster System, the recent induction training for Fiji’s first-ever National Emergency Response Team (NERT), flood early warning system in the Western Division; and the After Action Review (AAR) for the deployments to Vanuatu and New Zealand.
National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) Director Ms. Vasiti Soko says following the meeting of the Council, the Fiji NDMO will continue to work with all Council members, stakeholders, and partners to ensure we are collectively prepared for future disasters.
“The NDMO will now put into action the approval done by the Council to enhance Fiji’s capabilities to better prepare for disaster with the cyclone season drawing closer,” Ms Soko said.
Caption: Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Mr. Isoa Talemaibua and Director NDMO Ms. Vasiti Soko at the meeting of the National Disaster Management Council (NDMC) in Suva.
The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management is responsible for implementing development strategies that bring Fijians living in rural and maritime regions the same level of access to essential services and economic opportunities as anywhere else in the country. We coordinate and implement the Fiji Government’s rural and maritime development initiatives with a mission to empower Fiji’s rural sector. We also spearhead disaster risk reduction initiatives at national and sub-national level including disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. We have offices for each of Fiji’s 14 provinces including Rotuma, leading the Fijian Government’s rural development and disaster risk management operations.
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