Caption: Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka and NDMO Director Ms. Vasiti Soko with participants attending the Fiji Disability Community Based Risk Management Toolkit Review Workshop in Lautoka this week.
LAUTOKA – The review of the Fiji Disability Inclusive Community Based Disaster Risk Management Toolkit will provide the Government and key stakeholders the means to identify and establish pathways for bolstering the inclusion and active involvement of people living with disabilities in disaster risk management.
This was highlighted by the Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Hon. Sakiasi R Ditoka during the opening of the Fiji Disability Inclusive Community Based Disaster Risk Management Toolkit Review Workshop at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka today.
In his remarks, Minister Ditoka emphasised the pivotal roles played by each stakeholder in fortifying the resilience of communities, villages, settlements, and the country.
“In this context, safeguarding and empowering our vulnerable groups, especially women and girls, holds paramount importance in disaster preparedness. I am thrilled to witness the collaborative effort of all our stakeholders in the review of this foundational document,” Hon. Ditoka said.
“Individuals with disabilities have a distinctive role to play in the construction of a more equitable and inclusive society. Their contributions, with their unique talents and perspectives, help shape our relationships and values towards the creation of fairer and more just communities that leave no one behind.”
The Toolkit will serve as a guiding light for disaster practitioners, setting the course for disability inclusion in the foreseeable future. This guidance will also extend to enhancing their competence in managing Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs) for disaster preparedness and response.
“Thus, it is imperative that we engage in open and candid discussions on how we can collaboratively pave the way for disability-inclusive disaster risk management. Moreover, it is essential that we address the intangible barriers that often hinder our progress and collective strength. Discriminatory attitudes and negative behaviors are significant impediments to inclusion.”
Minister Ditoka reiterated that it was “our duty to educate our families, friends, and acquaintances on the appropriate conduct that fosters the full participation of people living with disabilities in our society.”
“Furthermore, we must tackle the root causes of vulnerabilities. Poverty, political underrepresentation, lack of education, gender inequality, and similar issues are the underlying factors that necessitate comprehensive interventions. To effectively combat and address these challenges, we must adopt a whole-of-government and a whole-of-society approach.”
The workshop is being organised by the Fiji NDMO with the support of the UN Women through the Women’s Resilience to Disaster (WRD) Project, Fiji Disabled Peoples Federation, and affiliates, CBM Australia, the Methodist Church In Fiji and Rotuma, and the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Protection.
Caption: Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Hon. Sakiasi Ditoka with participants at the Fiji Disability Community Based Risk Management Toolkit Review Workshop in Lautoka today.
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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