The National Disaster Management Office, popularly known as NDMO, was established as the coordinating Centre for the Fiji Government in times of Natural Disasters. Fiji experiences severe weather events, including powerful tropical cyclones and associated flooding.
When these weather events strike the impact on communities can be significant. Tropical Cyclone Winston, that impacted Fiji in February 2016, was an example of both the power and destruction of these weather events, but also showcased the impressive response system that exists within Fiji to provide immediate relief and assist impacted communities.
In June, 2017, NDMO took delivery of four customised Sealegs amphibious boats to support wider emergency services working across Fiji, improving response capability in maritime environments. Following delivery of the vessels, MFAT (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade) provided follow-up training and support to the vessel operators, through its Pacific Maritime Safety Programme (PMSP).
The Sealegs boats complement Fiji’s excellent emergency response systems and boost their disaster response capacity, and have already been put to use following the damage caused by tropical Cyclones Josie and Keni in 2018. Two Sealegs were used to transport assessment teams to and from remote villages around Kadavu. These teams were examining damage made by the Cyclones. The vessels were also used to carry emergency relief supplies such as water, food and building materials.