Post-disaster needs assessment training to focus on water sector

Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu. Picture: SUPPLIED

The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Post Disaster Needs Assessment Training (PDNA) was opened this week and will focus on the water sector PDNA in the next two weeks.

While opening the virtual training, Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu officially highlighting the need for civil servants participating in the training to make good use of the opportunity it offered.

“I am no stranger to PDNA, having officially taken the PDNA concept to cabinet way back in 2013 after Tropical Cyclone (TC) Evan and also officiated in the opening of the inaugural PDNA Training on the same year. 2016 necessitated the 2nd PDNA process after TC Winston, I again officiated in the refresher training before the assessment proper. Here is 2021, the context is quite similar, however with a somewhat COVID-19 adapted flavour,” Mr Seruiratu said.

He said training such as PDNA was critical given the frequency and extent of natural hazards affecting Pacific Island Countries (PICs).

“I take this opportunity to commend the Pacific Community (SPC) for its partnership with UNDP over the years in collaborating to facilitate the PDNA training around the Pacific and now, you’ve brought it home again to Fiji. These proven partnerships, now with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the mix will be instrumental in the ongoing quest to build resilient recovery capacities in the Pacific,” he added.

He also reiterated that the PDNA training was crucial enough to ensure that the fundamentals of post-disaster assessments were embedded for recovery planning, feeding into Government’s overarching national development agenda.

“We intend to build on these achievements to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the way we deal with national emergencies.”

“Your presence here today is no mere coincidence. You have been carefully selected to gain first-hand knowledge and exposure to the PDNA methodology in the hope that Government will be relying on your expertise if we happen to conduct a PDNA should disaster strike in the not –too distant future. Please make good use of every opportunity it has to offer.”

The virtual event was attended by UNDP’s Resident Representative Mr Levan Bouadez, ADB Regional Director for the Pacific, Masayuki Tachiiri, Pacific Community’s (SPC) Deputy Director-General Science and Capability, Dr Paula Vivili, Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, David Kolitagane and Director National Disaster Management, Vasiti Soko.

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