Refurbished Emergency Centres to strengthen disaster response in Fiji
Suva,Fiji – March 9, 2019: 10.35am (Nuku’alofa Times/SPC): Disaster response in Fiji is expected to be strengthened, with the opening of two newly-refurbished Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) on February 26.
A total of nine emergency operations centres have been refurbished across Fiji in the past 13 months increasing Fiji’s disaster preparedness and communications abilities before, during, and after a disaster.
The new Emergency Operations Centres were funded by the European Union under the ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific (BSRP) project which has been implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).
In Nausori, the Central Divisional Emergency Operations Centre underwent a $27, 600FJD renovation, while the Korovou District Emergency Operations Centre in Korovou saw $36,600FJD of work completed.
Fiji’s assistant minister for Rural and Maritime Development, Mr Jale Sigarara was on hand for the official opening of bothEOCs.
Hon Sigarara indicated that the refurbished EOCs would ensure disaster response operations are not disrupted when activated during an emergency. He said it would ensure increased communication within the district.
With a population of about 400,00 in the Central Division, Hon Sigarara noted the new office in Nausori would further enhance Fiji’s efforts in building resilient people in the and also strengthen disaster preparedness and management.
The Korovou EOC was installed with state-of-the-art equipment similar to other EOCs set up around the country and will serve the urban and rural populace in and around Korovou Town.
“We wish to acknowledge the assistance from the European Union and the partnership with the Pacific Community which has made possible the upgrading of our Emergency Operation Centres across the country,” Hon Sigarara said.
Speaking at the opening, the Team Leader for Climate Change, Energy, and Circular Economy at the EU Delegation for the Pacific Adrian Nicole said, ”the important role of communications before, during and after disaster is critical to ensuring the reduction of the loss of life and impact disasters cause on the people of the Pacific and this work is testament to strengthening resilience in the face of great challenges. This work is commendable and a very well-followed lesson from the most recent disaster in Fiji.”
The Pacific Community’s Director of the Geoscience, Energy and Maritime (GEM) Division, Dr Andrew Jones commended the technical approach to this work, saying, “the need for increased communication was identified by Fiji as a priority after the devastation of Cyclone Winston after detailed consultations and country-wide lessons learned research. The renovation of these EOC’s now ensures divisions are able to both engage locally and communicate with the National Disaster Management team to increase coordination in times of crisis and provide robust data and information.”
Other EOC refurbishments funded by the EU include the Lautoka Planning Cell, Nadi District EOC, Tavua District EOC, Lautoka/Yasawa District EOC, Nausori Divisional EOC and its new equipment, Vunidawa District EOC and Nabouwalu District in the Northern Division.
BSRP is a €19.57million ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project (BSRP) funded by the EU and implemented by SPC. The objective of the project is to reduce the vulnerability, as well as the social, economic and environmental costs of disasters caused by natural hazards, thereby achieving regional and national sustainable development and poverty alleviation in ACP Pacific Island States.
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