In Fiji:

November 23, 2022, 10:28 am
Business, Fiji News

Ministry conducts disaster preparedness workshop for western officers

Story By: FIJI TV Team

The Ministry of Agriculture, through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is stepping up its efforts to better position itself in providing much-needed relief and rehabilitation services to farmers in the event of natural disasters.

This is being done through a series of Disaster Risk Management training held across its geographical divisions for technical officers based throughout the country, with the most recent DRM workshop being held this week at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka for staff based in the Western Division.

While speaking at the opening of the DRM training today in Lautoka, Agriculture Ministry Head of Finance, Mr Sikeli Baleisuva, said the continued cooperation and lateral assistance provided by both the European Union (EU) and the FAO to the Ministry in conducting these workshops ensured the Ministry was better prepared in the event of a natural disaster.

“The Ministry of Agriculture acknowledges and appreciates your continued support that has allowed for us to be here and providing the platform for representatives from your organizations to impart valuable knowledge and information to officials here in the Western Division as we look forward to another cyclone season that is ahead of us,” he said.

Additionally, line Ministries such as the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs were also invited to be part of the workshop as presenters to share their knowledge with the participating officials.

“The National Disaster Management Office under Rural and Maritime is here to also impart processes and information as they’re the national body that deals with disaster and data collected from you during damage assessments greatly assists government in its policy direction to assist disaster victims and the most vulnerable during these spate of events,” Mr Baleisuva said.

The contributions of civil society organisations and NGO’s like the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and Live & Learn Environmental Education were also acknowledged as these CSOs lent their support to Government during natural disasters.

In his address, Mr Baleisuva highlighted that the Ministry of Agriculture was one of the pioneering agencies in the country to use an online platform for its Initial Damage Assessments (IDA) with the exercise being deemed a success upon its completion.

“I am proud to be with the Ministry as we’re one of the first to have an online portal on IDA to collate critical data and real time analytics from the field for relevant policy decisions to be made by our executive management,” Mr Baleisuva stated.

The two-day training will conclude tomorrow and will see more than 30 Ministry of Agriculture senior officers and technical staff undergoing this Disaster Risk Management refresher training to better equip them to serve during the event of a natural disaster.