12 Aug 2016

NZ keen to help Samoa with climate change centre

9:48 am on 12 August 2016

New Zealand will provide assistance to Samoa's Pacific Climate change centre once it's built.

New Zealand's Civil Defence Minister, Nikki Kaye, said New Zealand is keen to provide support in either early warnings or infrastructure development.

New Zealand's Defense Minister, Nikki Kaye (L) and Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

New Zealand's Civil Defense Minister, Nikki Kaye (L) and Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi. Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

A package of US$550,000 from the New Zealand government will go towards work on improving early warning systems, and training and equipment for Samoa's emergency operations centre to help the country build resilience to cyclones and other natural hazards.

The construction work on the climate change centre will start next June and will be built at the compound of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme at Vailima.

Ms Kaye also visited Lalomanu village and paid respect to the grave of 14 members of the Taufua family who were killed in the 2009 tsunami.

"It has been very moving, obviously I'm here to announce a strengthening around our disaster risk management, I think Samoa has come along way in terms of early warning. We all have an obligation to make sure that we don't have the numbers of people dying and being engineered."

The Minister, who left Samoa Thursday night after a two day visit, said investing in good disaster risk management is one of the most important things that can be done to save lives and enable economies to recover.

Samoa has experienced three severe tropical cyclones in the last 15 years and seven years ago a tsunami destroyed villages on Upolu and killed 189 people.

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