17 Jun 2013

Regional NGOs look at improving Fiji's flood warning system

6:03 am on 17 June 2013

A climate expert says a regional collaboration of NGOs is working on improving flood warning systems in Fiji.

Neville Koop, who is the meterology and climate adviser for the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, says it's important to provide the Nadi metservice with information tools so they can warn the public earlier when a flood is imminent.

He says the project includes tree-planting to minimise the amount of topsoil that gets into the river during a flood, which ends up being a major cause of blockages.

He says Nadi's last major flood in March 2012 hit at night when people were asleep, and having earlier warnings is critical.

"Providing a better early warning system and providing information on a more timely basis is part of the process. No amount of engineering or river diversion or dredging would have saved Nadi in that March flood. The amount of rain that fell was simply phenomenal."

Neville Koop says he will report to the disaster risk management rountable in Nadi next month.