New Zealand Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye has announced the next phase of a project funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade (MFAT) and delivered by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management (MCDEM), aimed at helping Samoa build its resilience to natural hazards.

“There’s a longstanding relationship between MCDEM and Samoa’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO). The $750,000 (US$546,000) package announced will support this ongoing partnership and further strengthen Samoa’s disaster risk management programme,” says Kaye.


Kaye made the announcement at a reception in Apia, attended by guests including Ministers, officials, business leaders and representatives of humanitarian assistance agencies.

“Samoa is vulnerable to natural disasters and the personal, social and economic impact often associated with them,” says Kaye.

“Three severe tropical cyclones in the last 15 years caused 26 fatalities and substantial economic loss. In 2009, the tsunami generated by a magnitude 8.0 earthquake wreaked havoc on the main island of Upolu, destroying villages and leading to the loss of 189 lives.

“Our long history of working with Samoa to build resilience to natural hazards has achieved significant outcomes, such as the installation of 23 tsunami warning sirens on the south coast of Upolu, completed in 2014.

“The next phase of the MCDEM-NDMO partnership will include ongoing work such as:

*improving early warning systems

*providing additional training and equipment for Samoa’s emergency operations centre

*helping to develop community response and local evacuation plans

*supporting Samoa’s national preparedness exercises

*developing educational materials for schools and pre-schools.

“This $750,000 package is part of broader assistance that New Zealand is providing, along with other local, regional and overseas donors and organisations, to help Samoa improve its resilience.

“We’re committed to supporting Samoa because of the warm relationship we share, underpinned by our shared history and close cultural and people ties.

“We are partners in good times and times of need. Next month will mark Samoa’s seventh anniversary of the devastating 2009 tsunami. It will also be New Zealand’s sixth anniversary of the magnitude 7.1 earthquake in Canterbury, the first of a series of earthquakes that brought unprecedented destruction to the region.

“Investing in good disaster risk management is one of the most important things we can do to save lives and enable economies to recover. New Zealand is proud to support our Pacific neighbours to be more prepared and have stronger systems to deal with emergencies.”. SOURCE: MFAT/PACNEWS [/restrict]