SPC Geoscience Division


Lessons learned from Winston

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30 May 2016, Labasa

TC-WinstonThe devastation Tropical Cyclone Winston unleashed on Fiji is still a reality for many across the country.

To explore how Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) responded, and what could be improved upon for next time, a series of Lessons Learned Workshops will be held over the next four weeks, beginning in the Northern Division of Fiji today.

Parts of the Northern Division of the country were badly affected, with many communities in the direct path of Cyclone Winston, the strongest recorded cyclone in the Southern Hemisphere struck land on 20 February.

The Lessons Learned Workshops are funded by the €19.37 million (FJD 45 million) ACP-European Union Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).

This workshop is the first in a series of six planned across the country that will culminate with a national lessons learned workshop.


The teams responsible within the NDMO for preparation, response and recovery will all be participating in the workshops, along with the Mata-ni-Tikina (community representatives), United Nations agencies, non-government organisations and community members affected by the devastation of Cyclone Winston.
The European Union Ambassador to the Pacific, H.E. Andrew Jacobs, commends the NDMO and its Director for their dedication to improving disaster resilience and preparedness in Fiji.

“The European Union is committed to supporting Fiji recover from the impact of cyclone Winston. We also recognise the dedicated response by the NDMO team and the EU supports the improvement of response and the preparedness of communities for future natural disasters,” he said.

The NDMO Director, Akapusi Tuifagalele, said the partnership from both the EU and SPC is helping ensure the country can respond to future disasters in an even more coordinated way.

“We are being extensive in understanding where we did well and how we can do better for the communities of Fiji,” Mr Tuifagalele said.

SPC’s Project Manager for BSRP, Taito Nakalevu, said this work, along with previous lessons learned workshops in Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam, will form a benchmark for how the Pacific can respond better to disasters in the future.

Press event details:        Labasa Civic Centre, Fiji
Date:                                Monday 30 May 2016                       
Time:                                9:00am – 10:00am (interviews available)

Lessons Learned Workshop Schedule:

Northern (Labasa) 30 May
Western 2-3rd June
Central Suva – early June
Headquarters – early June
Eastern Division – early June
National Workshop – TBC (late June)

Media contacts:
Lisa Kingbserry, Communications and Media Officer ACP-EU BSRP Project +679 9252 849 [Appeler : +679 9252 849] This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Litiana Bainimarama,  Training, Education and Awareness Officer, NDMO Fiji +679 9238 825 [Appeler : +679 9238 825]
Kasim Mohammed Nazeem, Press Information Officer, European Union +679 8672 255 [Appeler : +679 8672 255] This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Background information

The ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific project (BSRP) is a €19.37 million project funded by the European Union and implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC).  The objective of the project is to reduce the vulnerability, as well as the social, economic and environmental costs of disasters caused by natural hazards, thereby achieving regional and national sustainable development and poverty alleviation in ACP Pacific Island States. ACP refers to Africa, Caribbean and Pacific.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 June 2016 16:31  


Disaster Reduction Programme's EU B-Envelope project is working closely with the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Natural Resources (MLSNR) to drill six boreholes on Tongatapu. A contract was signed with NEEDS Engineering Ltd for approximately TOP120,000.

Work has just been completed in drilling the first borehole near the international airport that was at a depth of 55 meters with other sites to follow. The borehole at Fu’amotu will be drilled to a depth of 65 meters while the three boreholes at Mata’kieua wellfield will be at a dept of 24 – 35 meters.

The boreholes will be used by MLSNR to monitor water quality. This is very important as the water piped through the reticulated supply to households in Nukua’lofa and in most villages on Tongatapu is sourced from the underground water lens. The data collected through monitoring the water quality including salinity is essential for good management of the water supply.

The MLSNR visit all boreholes on a regular basis to collect samples for testing in their laboratory. The project has also completed upgrading the infrastructure at the Mataki’eua wellfield with construction of new wellsheds, supply of electric submersible pumps and supply of rainwater catchments to the outer islands.