Suva to have more early warning sirens for disasters

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Fiji’s capital, Suva, is expected to have five new early warning sirens for disasters by 2018.

This will be made possible through a new agreement signed between the Pacific Community (SPC), and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) today in Suva.

GIZ has contributed FJD 461,148 to the European Union funded ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project (BSRP) to expand its partnership with the EU and SPC in climate change action and disaster risk management in Fiji and the Pacific.

Suva currently has one siren located at the University of the South Pacific (USP) Marine Campus and another in Lami.

A signing ceremony was held during the Annual Regional Steering Committee Meeting for the BSRP project, which is being attended by representatives of 15 Pacific National Disaster Management Offices and other partners, as part of Pacific Resilience Week.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Head of Infrastructure and Natural Resources Section at the EU Delegation for the Pacific, Jesús Laviña 'welcomed: “the EU-GIZ and SPC strengthened partnership, as partnerships are critical to build resilience to disasters in Fiji and the Pacific, the most vulnerable region in the world''.

The Head of GIZ Pacific, Dr Wulf Killmann, said the extensive damage and loss of life from category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston in February called for the need for more early warning systems in Fiji.

“These systems will help save lives and reduce the economic impacts of disasters,” Dr Killman said.

Speaking at the event, SPC Deputy Director–General, Dr Audrey Aumua, said SPC was pleased to work together to respond to Fiji’s request for additional tsunami early warning sirens to compliment the two systems already installed.