NATION

Disaster Council Meet

The National Disaster Management Council met this week in Nadi to discuss strategies that have been in place as the dry spell continues to affect the country. Chaired by the
24 Dec 2015 10:09
Disaster Council Meet
Minister for Agriculture, Rural Development and National Disaster Management, Inia Seruiratu.

The National Disaster Management Council met this week in Nadi to discuss strategies that have been in place as the dry spell continues to affect the country.

Chaired by the Minister for National Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu, the meeting noted through the director meteorological services, Ravind Kumar, that although a trough of low pressure continues to bring rain to the affected areas, this would still not fully help the country come out of the effects of the El Nino.

“During the June to December period, the seawater temperature in the eastern Pacific Ocean recorded 3.5 degrees warmer than that of the 1997-1998 drought period and rainfall for the same period was around 700 millimetres or one-third of the average rainfall (2000mm),” Mr Kumar said.

“Given the technology, the meteorological services along with our partners around the globe have predicted that the El Nino effect would peak between February and March.”

The current dry spell has seen 111,470 Fijians affected and as a result of depleting waters sources and reduced agricultural activities while Government has spent $1.5 million in carting 42.4 million litres of water in the central/eastern, northern and western divisions.

The highest affected areas remain the northern and western divisions with 51,652 and 50,270 people affected respectively.

Minister Seruiratu said Government had allocated enough funding and resources to all the divisions to cart emergency water until the end of the year.

“The Prime Minister is very concerned about Fijians and those who do not have water and all Government officials must find a way to take water to the people,” Minister Seruiratu said.

“It is good to note that following the end of the sugar crushing season, bush and cane fires have reduced significantly in the Western Division.”

Source: DEPTFO News

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