The key agencies tasked to execute the $7.5 million disaster resilience project in Palau that is funded by the Japan government through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had met to lay out plans for the implementation of the project yesterday, August 26 at the Penthouse Hotel Conference room.
Government officials from the NEMO, the Weather Service Office (WSO), Ministry of State, Palaris, Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the Bureau of Public Safety (BPS), Ministry of Education, Bureau of Agriculture (BOA), and the Palau Red Cross Society (PRCS), among others had engaged in discussions on how to best implement the project.
UNDP Disaster Resilience for Pacific SIDS (RESPAC) Project Manager Noud Leenders, in his presentation, revealed that the key agencies aim to finalize the procurement process for the project within August to November this year and have the necessary equipment delivered to the country between December to January 2020.
Part of the objective is also to install the equipment and train young technician and government officers early next year.
Through the fund, several infrastructures and other equipment necessary to improve Palau’s disaster risk response are expected to be seen.
Leenders said that among the expected outcomes of the project include purchase of trucks to help boost the fire department’s capacity to respond quickly to emergencies.
Some infrastructure will also be built for the main fire department and its two substations.
An AM radio tower will also be built that will greatly improve Palau’s ability to send messages to its outer islands since it has a wider coverage compared to the FM radio tower.
“We’ll provide substantive amount of High Frequency radios that will be able to provide information and warning to the outer islands and to North and South [of Palau] to send warnings and report back what is happening after disasters,” Leenders said.
The project will also include extension of the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO)to be able to host the whole members of Palau’s National Emergency Committee (NEC).
The project also gives emphasis on developing capacity to detect early warning signs to be able to alert the public of potential disasters.
Disaster drills for the public and the fire police are also going to be staged as part of the project.
The same project focused on enhancing disaster resilience is also funded by Japan through the UNDP for the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI). (By Rhealyn C. Pojas)