Drought response report tops disaster meeting

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2/18/2016 The 2015 drought response report topped the agenda of the Disaster Mitigation and Prevention Committee in its meeting today.

Chaired by the Ministry of Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management permanent secretary Mr Meleti Bainimarama, he urged the committee to look at long term solutions to improve the Ministry’s drought response and preparedness.

“We need to look at new and innovative ways to improve the situation and set a directional goal of ending water cartage on a permanent basis,” Mr Bainimarama said.

In briefing the committee, the National Disaster Management director, Mr Akapusi Tuifagalele said that recently large areas of Fiji were affected by the drought of 2013, 2014 and 2015 with responses continue to be reactive.

“These reactive responses are costly and fail to address the predictability of drought.

“We need to adopt a pro-active approach with an emphasis on action and have a thorough understanding on local water shortages, including water infrastructure possibilities and community behaviour in order to address the situation,” Mr Tuifagalele explained.

The Committee is now looking at profiling affected communities; explore the options of water harvesting at household or community level and developing existing local water sources to mitigate the current situation of water cartage.