September 14, 2016 9:07 am

Need to Improve disaster preparedness: Minister Seruiratu

“We need to learn from past events of natural disasters in order to help us prepare for future natural disasters.” This was highlighted by the Minister for Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Honourable Inia Seruiratu at the opening of the First Pacific Regional Workshop on Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment and Early Warning Systems […]

“We need to learn from past events of natural disasters in order to help us prepare for future natural disasters.”

This was highlighted by the Minister for Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Honourable Inia Seruiratu at the opening of the First Pacific Regional Workshop on Multi-Hazard Risk Assessment and Early Warning Systems with Applications of Space and Geographic Information Systems held in Nadi.

Highlighting the occurrence of recent natural disasters in Fiji from Cyclone Tomas in 2010; Cyclone Evan in 2012 and Cyclone Winston in 2016, Minister Seruiratu told participants that ‘this is going to be a new norm’ and challenged them to change the way they do things.

“This is going to be a new norm and we need to change the way we live. Actions must change, policies needs to be reviewed so that we can prepare well for the future.”

“The way we do development also needs to change. We should not only focus on economic gain, but also consider the social and environmental issues of development,” Mr Seruiratu said.

The Minister stressed that preparedness is important in order to minimize the damage and losses associated by natural disasters given that the Asia Pacific Region is vulnerable when it comes to natural disasters.

He also encouraged participants to capitalize on the existing regional arrangements on disaster management.

The workshop provides a forum for Pacific policy makers to share initial findings from the gap-needs analysis of multi-hazard risk assessment, early warning systems, and use of GIS for disaster management in the Pacific region.