Caption: Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Mr. Isoa Talemaibua receives a Handover Certificate from the Acting Director General of the National Disaster Management Research Institute (NDMI) of Korea Mr. Choi Woojung in Lautoka last month.
LAUTOKA – Vulnerable communities located within the Ba Province catchment area now have access to an improved flood early warning system that will facilitate timely evacuations to safeguard lives and properties during future flood events.
This follows the installation of installation of flood early warning systems, encompassing 4 rainfall stations, 7 water level stations, and 6 warning posts in these vulnerable communities.
The project was made possible through funding of $1 million by the National Disaster Management Research Institute (NDMI) of Korea under the “Construction of Forecasting and Warning System for Disaster Risk Reduction in Fiji” Project.
Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Mr. Isoa Talemaibua acknowledged the Government of Korea, through the NDMI for this timely assistance.
Mr Talemaibua highlighted that Fiji was situated in a region prone to various environmental hazards, including cyclones, floods, earthquakes, and tsunamis, and these natural calamities have, over the years, brought about devastating consequences, prompting the Fiji Government to prioritise disaster preparedness and mitigation efforts.
It is in this spirit, he said, that the Ministry had embarked on ongoing initiatives to enhance the country’s resilience and preparedness in the face of natural disasters.
“One of the challenges that we experienced in the past was the absence of the early warning system at the community level, and as a result, most of them were stranded in their homes or causing them to take risks to get to safe areas. It also caused First Responders to at times risk their lives to evacuate, search, and rescue the stranded. However, through this project, this challenge will be addressed as the community will now have its own early warning system. I also understand that this project will be extended to the other divisions particularly those that are living within the flood-prone areas,” Mr Talemaibua said during a handover ceremony in Lautoka last month.
“On this note, I would like to thank the Government of Korea for coming forth to assist the Government of Fiji and its people, particularly the communities of Ba, Lautoka, and Nadi that will benefit from this project.”
In handing over the project, the Acting Director General for NDMI Mr. Choi Woojung said the Government of Korea had no doubt that the newly installed Flood Early Warning Systems would contribute to minimizing damages caused by flood in Fiji.
“I heard there has been a lot of damage by typhoons in Fiji so far. The growing uncertainty and unpredictability due to climate change increases the risk of disasters. At this point, the role of Flood Early Warning System and Automatic Rainfall Warning System is getting more important. The NDMI will continue to work in cooperation with the Fiji NDMO for disaster risk reduction in Fiji,” Mr Choi said.
Caption: Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Mr. Isoa Talemaibua, Director NDMO Ms. Vasiti Soko, Commissioner Western Division Mr. Apolosi Lewaqai and staff members of the Ministry and representatives from other stakeholder agencies with the Acting Director General of the National Disaster Management Research Institute (NDMI) of Korea Mr. Choi Woojung and his team in front of one of the newly installed Flood Early Warning System in Lautoka last month.
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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