Government officials from the four divisions around the country along with the National Disaster Management Officials and First Responders have concluded their respective After Action Review following their operations on Tropical Cyclone Harold.

While delivering his closing address at the After Action Review (AAR) workshop yesterday, Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management, Hon Inia Seruiratu challenged the first
responders to work towards ensuring all development programs initiated by the Government are focused on resilience.

Hon. Seruiratu said this was to minimize damage and losses in any future disaster.

“Transform towards resilience. This is the same observation that I made during Winston and is the same that I made in Vatulele with structures not too strong to withstand category 5 cyclones” said
Hon Seruiratu.

He said the focus should also be on efficient processes and systems to ensure improvement during future operations which would result in less time, money and effort used for recovery and rehabilitation,
marking a shift from reactive to prevention.

Hon. Seruiratu also encouraged officials to put into action and implement all AAR learnings and not let it “be just a report”.

He reminded the officials that the AAR should also highlight success approaches and not only the gaps and weak links.

The AAR is an important exercise undertaken by divisions after every disaster to ascertain how well existing systems and processes perform during an operation.

The review will assist in identifying what needs to be improved and what has been successful during a disaster operation.

Hon. Seruiratu also reiterated the need for having the right technology to suit Fiji’s environment during a cyclone.

Some of these lessons learnt include the need to conduct training and refresher training for community disaster risk reduction (DRR) coordinators on their roles and response processes and emergency
operations center (EOC) Teams.

They also identified the need to strengthen planning roles of the divisions EOC by conducting mock exercises and simulations and to also activate regular review of standby arrangements for divisional
EOC operations.

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