The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment launched its Flood Warning Siren system yesterday as part of its continual efforts to enhance Samoa’s resilience to climate-induced natural disasters through better preparedness strategies and effective and timely response actions.
Minister Toesulusulu Cedric Schuster at the official launching event said the establishment of a Flood Warning Siren Network has been in the works for quite some time and he is pleased to see this work come to fruition with the launch of the five flood warning sirens in the Vaisigano Catchment.
The total cost of this project is $1.02 million tala.
The Minster acknowledged the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and UNDP for the financial support and MCS New Zealand that contracted to procure and install the five sirens.
He said the GCF Vaisigano Catchment Project is a six-year project which started in 2017 and aims to achieve ‘Strengthened Adaptive Capacity & Reduced Exposure to Climate Risk of Vulnerable Livelihoods & Infrastructure in the Vaisigano River Catchment’.
“Installation of the Flood Warning Sirens is a crucial step forward to achieving the project’s overall goal.
“The sirens will provide effective and timely flood warnings to vulnerable communities residing along river banks and flood plains to respond quickly to flood disasters in order to save lives.
“The sirens will also be used to provide warnings on other natural hazards such as tsunamis and tropical cyclones.
They are strategically located at the EPC Tanugamanono Power Station, Apia Park, Magiagi reserve, Lalovaea and here in the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture compound.
“And it’s been set up to connect to the existing emergency radio network and tsunami siren network to ensure our early warning systems are integrated and well-coordinated for effective preparedness, monitoring and response actions.”
Adding, it is important to ensure the sirens are well looked after and regularly maintained to ensure they remain operational and effective for many years to come.
He said this milestone achievement further reaffirms Samoa’s commitment to contribute positively towards the realization of regional and international goals under the Sendai
Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the 2015 Paris Agreement for Climate Change, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific 2017-2030 and the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.