The newly refurbished Nadi District Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), and the Western Division EOC Planning Office and Divisional Controller’s Office in Lautoka, were opened today by Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management, Meleti Bainimarama, today.
The refurbishment of the two EOC’s cost FJD $92,236 and has been made possible through the European Union-funded ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project (BSRP), which is implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).
Mr Bainimarama said the new-look office will ensure government services are not disrupted during an emergency.
“The new office will ensure disaster operations are effectively maintained and services to our people continue when there are disruptions. The new office will further enhance Fiji’s efforts in building resilient people and also strengthen disaster preparedness and management.
“We also acknowledge the kind assistance from the European Union and SPC, through the Building Safety and Resilience Project which supported the upgrading of the two EOCs,” Mr Bainimarama said.
The EU Deputy Head of Delegation for the Pacific, Corrado Pampaloni, said, ”Resilience is not only recovering and thriving; it is about how to learn from the past to make the future better and how to make your country safer.
”The refurbishment and upgrade of the Nadi Emergency Operations Centre and Lautoka Planning Office and Divisional Controller’s Office funded by the European Union will help to increase safety of Fijian people. The EU is proud to support this programme to help Fiji and the Pacific to cope with climate change and disasters,” Mr Pampaloni said.
Through the project, the EU has also allocated funds for the refurbishment of the Northern and Eastern Divisional EOCs, and the National EOC. Work on these will commence soon.
The Manager of SPC’s Disaster Reduction Programme, Dr Paul Taylor, said SPC understands the challenges faced by the region and, in partnership with the Government of Fiji, is ensuring the capability and capacity to respond to disasters and emergencies in Fiji is sufficiently addressed for the long-term sustainability of effective disaster preparedness and response into the future.
“Given the Western Division’s geographical location, which makes it more vulnerable to natural disasters, it was key to have a standard EOC where operations can be effectively controlled and managed at district and divisional level during emergencies and disasters,” he said.
The refurbishment work in the Nadi EOC included the Operations Room, Planning Room, Communications Room and the District Officers office and briefing room.
In Lautoka, it was necessary to refurbish the Planning Room to fully complement the recently-refurbished Divisional EOC. The funding also enabled the relocation of the Commissioner’s Office to be nearer to the Operations Room and includes the EOC Planning Room for easy access and forward planning during emergency and disaster operations.
Furthermore, the Commissioner Central Division has also been assisted with the purchase of equipment to upgrade the Central Division EOC in Nausori.
BSRP is a €19.37million 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.
Josephine Prasad, Pacific Community (SPC) +679 9922098
Mohammed Nazeem KASIM, European Union Pacific Delegation +679 3313633 (Ext 110)
Fiji’s Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management