Guadalcanal Province premier Stephen Panga and his executive have today confirmed they will allocate a piece of land for a disaster office at Doma as soon as they start building the new Headquarters.He said work on the new headquarters will begin around August this year.
He said his government places huge importance on disaster management and as such has allocated thirty-thousand dollars as standby money in its budget, the first time a Guadalcanal Province government has done this.
Mr. Panga made this commitment in the National Disaster Management Office's ongoing Provincial advocacy meetings yesterday morning at the NDMO office.
The Guadalcanal Premier said the advocacy meeting with the NDMO was eye opening and "it's the first time I and my Ministers realize that the Province has a lot to play in disaster management".
The Premier said that since Guadalcanal is prone to many natural and human induced disasters, they will not only allocate land but also develop legislations to make disaster management more effective, efficient and inclusive of other partners.
NDMO Director Loti Yates told the executive that he was happy with the commitment saying funding for the Disaster Management offices for all the Provinces is already available with the Pacific Geo-Science Commission, SOPAC.
Mr. Yates said the funding is from the European Union but is managed and coordinated by SOPAC.
He also said once all Provinces have allocated a piece of land, SOPAC will deploy two specialists to visit the country and carry out inspections this year.
Mr. Yates said the Ministry of National Planning has already informed him money for disaster offices in Makira-Ulawa and Rennell Bellona Provinces are available for work to begin as soon as those Provinces have confirmed land allocations.
The advocacy meeting with the Guadalcanal Provincial executive follows two days of similar advocacies with the Honiara City Council Executive and Heads of Divisions on Monday and Tuesday this week.
Mr. Yates said so far the Provincial governments and the Honiara City Council executive he had meetings with promised to support and enhance the work of the new Provincial disaster coordinators.
He also said Choiseul Province will be the next they hope to visit soon.