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Government highlights importance of collective work during disaster period

The importance between government and the other stakeholders during times of natural disasters was highlighted by the Minister of Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and Natural Disaster Management Hon. Inia Seruiratu. The Minister made the statement at the launch of a music concert held recently by the University of the South Pacific student association to […]

DEPTFO

April 20, 2016 8:51 am

The importance between government and the other stakeholders during times of natural disasters was highlighted by the Minister of Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and Natural Disaster Management Hon. Inia Seruiratu.

(L-R) The Minister for Agriculture Hon. Inia Seruiratu and Vice Chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra being garland during the event at USP. (DEPTFO)
(L-R) The Minister for Agriculture Hon. Inia Seruiratu and Vice Chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra being garland during the event at USP. (DEPTFO)

The Minister made the statement at the launch of a music concert held recently by the University of the South Pacific student association to fundraise for victims of Tropical Cyclone Winston in Suva.

In his message, the Minister stressed the importance of a collective effort to respond to natural disasters and used the example of Tropical Cyclone Winston.

I for one always argue that it is not only government – it is a collective responsibility because we are the government, there is no government without the people and no government without organization and there is no government without communities. It is a collective responsibility.

It is a huge task for the Fijian government to respond to the very needs and the diverse challenges as a result of the devastation caused by TC Winston.

Niue students performing at the concert. (DEPTFO)
Niue students performing at the concert. (DEPTFO)

After Tropical Cyclone Winston struck the nation, three critical areas were identified by the government which became the guiding principle for post-TC Winston operations. Minister Seruiratu said this included the provision of basic needs to all affected Fijians.

The areas within the red zone do not have roof above them. Government is trying its best to provide good shelter in forms of tarpaulin or tents to those people who are in need because shelter is a basic need. Second the challenge of food security. People need to be fed as most rural areas in Fiji depend on agriculture for their food security. Third, the restoration of essential services is critical.

Minister Seruiratu added that the people need electricity, communication, roads, shipping but these was a major challenge.

In his remarks, the Minister made special mention and thanked those countries and organisations that provided support to the Government’s recovery and rehabilitation efforts.

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