Friday, 8 August 2008 4:44 PM

NDC to Review Disaster Plan and Act

The National Disaster Council will hold a two-day workshop next week for Government Ministries, churches, Non Government Organisations, Corporate companies, Development partners and Provincial Governments to review the 1987 National Disaster Plan and the1989 National Disaster Act.

Director for the National Disaster Management Office, Loti Yates says the review process is very important because it aims to allow all partners linked to his office to take ownership and understanding of the two policy documents.

Mr Yates says the review is necessary because there are a lot of weaknesses in the two documents. He explained that the lessons learnt workshop in June last year which evaluated the relief operation after the April 2nd tsunami last year in the Western and Choiseul Provinces clearly demonstrated that.

He says the weaknesses included policy, operational and practical aspects of the operation and that all the partners in lessons learnt workshop reported them and not just the NDC.

Mr Yates adds it is from those findings that this review is necessary so amendments are made to ensure the two policy documents are more user-friendly before, during and after a disaster impact.

He also says the workshop hopes to bring better understanding of organizational structures, mechanisms, processes, laws and resources as well as procedures on governance and administration.

It should allow for development of new policies such as post disaster recovery which all disaster partners could advocate at all levels.

Mr Yates also says the outcomes of the workshop are to provide an opportunity for partners to network, share experiences and knowledge and exchange information.

"But the main outcome, he says, is to define and formulate the necessary changes to the National Disaster Act and National Disaster Plan," he says.

Yates says the workshop will take place on the 14th and 15th August at the Quality Inn.

He also explained that some work had already been done in the past towards the review of the two documents.

Mr Yates also says a South Pacific Geo-Science Commission supported Technical Assistant will conduct the review of the two documents from 18 August.