Enhancing Flood Resilience: Fiji Leads the Way

Fiji is among several countries worldwide utilizing the Flash Flood Guidance System (FFGS), as highlighted by Hwirin Kim, head of the World Meteorological Organization Hydrological and Water Resources Division (HWR) Services Department.

Speaking at the Pacific Early Warning System for Floods (EWS-F) and Flash Flooding Guidance System (FFGS) meeting at the Novotel Hotel in Nadi, Ms. Kim noted that Fiji ranks highly in the effective use of this flood system, alongside 73 other countries.

The FFGS is a vital tool for forecasting and managing flash floods, one of the deadliest natural disasters globally. It was developed to address gaps in capacity for creating effective flash flood warnings and offers real-time guidance to meteorological and hydrological forecasters.

Ms. Kim added that Fiji is the only Pacific nation using the system, implementing it in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Office. They share information in multiple languages, including local dialects, to warn the public effectively.

“Fiji sets a good example for other islands by sharing its experience, which others can learn from,” Ms. Kim said. “It is the leading country among Pacific islands in this regard.”

She mentioned that although Fiji has not yet been designated as the FFGS business center in the Pacific, it is a strong candidate for the role.

The focus is now on the early warning of floods project, which will receive funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Sezin Tokar, a senior hydrometeorological hazard advisor at USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Reduction, emphasized the importance of supporting the project, stating that early warnings save lives, reduce suffering, and mitigate the economic impact of disasters.

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