A damaged bridge in West Guadalcanal during the recent floods. Photo credit: Julian Maka'a.

A damaged bridge in West Guadalcanal during the recent floods. Photo credit: Julian Maka’a.

Preparing response plans for future disasters is critical for Solomon Islands says the Permanent Secretary responsible for Disaster
Management, Dr Melchior Mataki.

Dr Mataki, also Chair of the National Disaster Council made the statement yesterday when opening a Lessons Learnt Workshop after the April flash floods.

The workshop had brought together a number of stakeholders who worked during the disaster management operations of the April Floods, to share their experience and challenges, and to setup a roadmap to improve their operations in future disaster events.

The stakeholders included officers from government Agencies, the Donor Community, International Humanitarian Agencies, the media and NGOs.

Dr Mataki told stakeholders, Solomon Islands is at risk of natural disasters every year, and preparing response plans for future
disasters are critical.

“Disasters as we all know create chaos, they highlight weaknesses and limitations of the government and its agencies, resulting in deaths, destruction of properties and do have the potential to erase years of development.”

The Permanent Secretary also urged stakeholders to contribute their lessons learnt to improve the National Disaster Risk Management Plan.

“I urge all of us to be frank in our deliberation, failing to do so will not serve the purpose of this workshop. The frame for disaster risk management is the NDC Act. The National Disaster Risk Management Plan structures the game plan for managing a disaster and my expectations of this workshop are for us to contribute to these lessons to sharpen the game plan and give ideas to make the NDC Act focused and robust.”

The Lessons Learnt Workshop ended this afternoon.

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