Fiji is geographically situated in one of the most natural disaster-prone areas globally; because of this, many natural hazards occur in Fiji. Some disasters arise due to tropical depressions and cyclones or as part of tropical weather conditions that generally affect the region. Hazards such as landslides, flash floods, storm surges, etc. are most common. Thus, there is a grave requirement for a government body to manage disasters and provide support post-disasters.
With that vision, The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) was established as the coordinating centre of the Fijian Government in times of national disasters. The NDMO manages disaster activities at these levels through Disaster Preparedness programmes, Disaster Mitigation programmes, Disaster Response programmes in times of natural disasters and Disaster Rehabilitation programmes to restore normalcy after the adverse effect of a disaster hazard.
With the recent restructuring of FijiFirst Government, the National Disaster Management Office and the National Disaster Management Act were moved from the Ministry of Provincial Development to the Ministry of Defence, National Security and Immigration. The move aims to strengthen the capacity of government machinery to address and manage disaster and emergency activities in times of natural emergencies. In doing so, there are elements that are paramount in affecting management during these times. These are the availability of effective and efficient communication to facilitate information flow, and the readily available and basing of resources and the availability of people with the right knowledge, skills and expertise to manage, coordinate and implement prior programmed disaster management activities.
The NDMO played a primary role during the advent of Tropical Cyclone Yasa in December 2020, which destroyed many households all over Fiji. With the support from FijiFirst Government, risks and destruction were effectively mitigated within a short period.
The NDMO manages disaster activities at these levels through:
Disaster Preparedness Programmes
- Conducting Disaster Management training
- Conducting Community Awareness Programmes
- National Disaster Awareness Week
Disaster Mitigation Programmes
- Construction of Seawalls
- Construction/Retrofitting of Evacuation Centres
Disaster Response Programmes
- In times of natural disasters and Disaster Rehabilitation Programmes to restore normalcy after the adverse effects of a disaster hazard