CAN DO Fiji commended for preparedness and response support

Opening the Church Agencies Network Disaster Operations (CAN DO Fiji) week-long pre-cyclone training in Nadi today, Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office director Vasiti Soko commended the work of faith-based agencies towards the country’s preparedness and response efforts in times of disaster.

Soko said the support of faith-based organisations enables national leaders to make lifesaving decisions.

“You are the hope, you are also the strength they (evacuees) need in an event of a disaster and finally, you are the go to place to build us back to normalcy. That is why we are here,” Soko said.

“It’s not just the GIS preparedness. The data that you provide us will not only enhance the capability that we have but it will enable our national leader to make decision at a quicker time and also enable lifesaving decision making.”

The Safe n Redi Pre-Cyclone training is part of the Australian Humanitarian Partnership (AHP) Disaster READY program.

Coordinated by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency or ADRA Fiji, this training provides the churches an opportunity to familiarise themselves with NDMO’s priorities and legislations.

The Safe n Redi Project focuses on building church preparedness capacities to complement current Geographic Information System (GIS)  preparedness and response tools within the NDMO. This will enable lifesaving decision making with database information from mapping of church properties to be used as potential Evacuation Centres.

ADRA Fiji Country Director Iliapi Tuwai extended his appreciation to the NDMO director for availing herself to be part of the first pre-cyclone briefing for CAN DO.

“Under the Safe n Redi GIS project NDMO’s technical support with GIS team to inform on having preparedness capacities within the church partners in innovations such as the GIS components and Disability Access for Evacuation Centres under the current project support is appreciated,” Tuwai said.

“We look forward to your technical inputs and also increase our awareness and commitment to serving our members, wider community not only spiritually but also in practice on preparedness and response.”

ADRA Fiji, as the secretariat for CAN DO Fiji, works closely with the churches to build communities in Fiji that are inclusive, safe and ready to provide dignity and protection for all in times of disaster. Also at the training are representatives from the Fiji Meteorological Office who provided an overview of the work they do and outlook for the new cyclone season.

Photo: ADRA Fiji

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