Officers attend disaster management training

Officers from three Government agencies who deal with disaster management and emergencies in Samoa have attended a two-day training workshop at Tuanaimato.

Participants from the Samoa Meteorological Services, Disaster Management Office, Fire and Emergency Services Authority and other organisations attended a two-day planning and inception workshop.

The workshop discussed existing institutional mechanisms, policies and plans on disaster risk, reduction and early warning systems among other objectives.

And its goal was to facilitate discussions on the inclusion of traditional knowledge and responses into early warning systems and risk reduction measures.

The project marks an important milestone for early warning systems, traditional knowledge and sustainable development, and seeks to enhance the capacity of Pacific island countries Hydro-Met services, in order to predict extreme and high impact hydro-meteorological events and associated risks to alert exposed populations.

Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme [S.P.R.E.P.] Climate Change Resilience Programme Director, Tagaloa Cooper, said in a statement that early warning and preparedness underpin community resilience and sustainable development.

“They provide Governments with the instruments and skillset to enhance early preparation and risk reduction for local communities and nationals,” she said.

“In addition, Early Warning Systems and traditional knowledge are important drivers for development and innovation.

“This workshop will address the need to engage communities and ensure the warning and messages are easily understood, and continuously used.”

The World Meteorological Organisation [W.M.O.] Associate Project Officer, Tessa Tafua-So’o, stated that both the W.M.O and the S.P.R.E.P. recognise the critical role of National Disaster Management Offices as important stakeholders and actors in Pacific resilience and disaster preparedness.

“Your commitment to improve early warning mechanisms and preparedness in local communities is commendable.”

Ms. Tafua-So'o reiterated the full commitment of W.M.O through S.P.R.E.P to assist the Disaster Management Office and Samoa Met Office in its efforts to realise its important mission and mandate to the people of Samoa.

The project is a regional project which focuses on strengthening the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre located within the Fiji Meteorological Services in Nadi, Fiji, and the Pacific island countries and territories’ weather offices of Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Tokelau, and Tuvalu, 

It also extends support to the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu, and it is implemented by S.P.R.E.P.

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