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Natural Disaster

Make wise decisions says Minister

October 20, 2021 4:32 pm
[File Photo]

Minister for Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu has urged people living in informal settlements to make responsible choices as we approach the cyclone season.

Seruiratu says that it’s become a challenge to evacuate people during cyclones, hence, this week has been dedicated as Natural Disaster Awareness Week.

In the past, many people have had to be rescued in the middle of a cyclone as they didn’t show any urgency to prepare when warnings were issued.

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Seruiratu says education is ongoing to bring about change in mindset.

“Informal settlements are also included in the overall plan, although there are limitations because of the legal status of informal settlements and that is why community-based disaster risk management practices are so important, they have to take their own responsibilities as well.”

Meanwhile, National Disaster Management Director, Vasiti Soko says informal settlements are represented in the National Disaster Management Council and discussions have been happening post-disasters and this time actions are needed.

“The council together with the NDMO and the partners are looking at ways that we can reinforce some of these measures to save their lives and therefore working very closely with the Fiji Police Force and the communities themselves to ensure in the event they need to evacuate there are provisions in place to give them the courage to do so.”

It has also been brought to light that the challenge of delay in moving to evacuation centers is common in informal settlements around the Central Division.

The NDMO confirms that of the 477 evacuation centers in the division, over 50 percent have been inspected and prepared.

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