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Awareness Of Disaster Risk Reduction Crucial: Tugi

Fiji Council of Churches general secretary said the spiritual context of disaster should not be ignored as it was an important part of understanding risk perception.   The Fiji Council
30 Dec 2016 11:00
Awareness Of Disaster Risk Reduction Crucial: Tugi
Fiji Council of Churches, general secretary,Reverend Simione Tugi. Photo:ARISHMA DEVI-NARAYAN

Fiji Council of Churches general secretary said the spiritual context of disaster should not be ignored as it was an important part of understanding risk perception.

 

The Fiji Council of Churches has stressed the need for engaging with local faith communities to reduce the vulnerability to disaster risk.

This was highlighted by the Fiji Council of Churches General Secretary, Reverend Simione Tugi.

Reverend Tugi urged the need for faithful leaders to listen and take into account the voices especially of women who were often the worst affected.

“We asked the Government and other NGO and agencies to maximise the contribution of Faith Based Organisations, by ‘using’ their spiritual capital,” Reverend Tugi said.

The Faith Based Organisations include Christian, Muslim and Hindu faiths.

“We further appealed for working actively to remove the deeply rooted belief that disasters are a God given punishment, ensuring that places of worship are prepared to respond to disasters and improving the role of faith leaders as communicators,” Reverend Tugi said.

“It aims at the substantial reduction of disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods and health and in the economic, physical, social, cultural and environmental assets of persons, businesses, communities and our beloved country.”

Reverend Tugi said he remembered faith institutions being looked up to for the main providers of support during Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“In all natural disasters and the worst we have with Cyclone Winston, I recalled, faith institutions were the main providers of support to empower individuals in finding the necessary strength to cope with their loss,” he said.

He said the spiritual context of disaster should not be ignored as it was an important part of understanding risk perception.

He said training organised by the Methodist Church in Fiji was conducted after Tropical Cyclone Winston where the training involved reflections of thinking, scriptural learning and inspiration to provide a holistic conception of disaster risk reduction.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

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