Facts-based reporting necessary in disaster coverage: Seruiratu


Facts can reduce the chaos in times of disaster and can create a culture of risk reduction in the region, Fiji’s Minister for Rural, Maritime Development and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu said as he launched the National Disaster Awareness campaign in Suva.

Seruiratu said facts-based reporting is crucial to help the public prepare ahead and ready to respond when disaster strikes.

“Disasters demand good information. Otherwise, we will only add to the chaos. This campaign is all about saving lives by getting people information they need before, during and after disaster,” Seruiratu said.

The campaign will include poster designs, video production and community mapping challenges. At the same launch, the ministry unveiled  the “FindMyEC” messaging system that allow users to identify their nearest evacuation centres.

Meanwhile, the awareness week which is scheduled to run through April 2021 will start in Ba on 21 October.

Weighing in on the issue, UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) Pacific Coordinator Andy McElroy said that one of the lessons learnt with COVID-19 occurring around the same time as TC Harold was that it had positioned Government and communities to be better positioned to be able to address an era of escalating disaster and climate risks.

“Disaster risk reduction saves lives, saves livelihoods, saves time, saves money, it’s a proactive agenda,” McElroy said. “It’s really important day-to-day to talk about disaster risk reduction. It’s a really important prevention development agenda.”

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