Senior Government Officials from Key Government Ministries and State Owned Enterprises met on Friday 16 December in the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC), to discuss Disaster Response Plans for the hosting of Pacific Games in 2023.
A statement from OPMC stated that the meeting organized by the Government Services Integration Committee (GSIC) in OPMC, brought together Senior Government Officials from Key Government Ministries such as the Ministry of Environment Climate Change and Disaster Management, Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification, Ministry of Police National Security and Correctional Services/Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Ministry of Health and Medical Services, Ministry of Finance and Treasury (ICT), Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as well as Solomon Power and Solomon Water, to discuss a coordinated response plan, working closely with the Games Organizing Committee (GOC) , should a major disaster occurs during the Pacific Games.
Chair of GSIC, overseeing Government preparations for Pacific Games in OPMC, Bernard Bataanisia, stated the importance of the meeting and our SIG internal preparations, in dealing with major disasters should it occur during the Games.
“As November is usually, our wet and rainy season, it is important that we plan and have arrangements in place should disaster or bad weather occurs that may have an impact on the Games, “says Bataanisia.
Furthermore, “Under the Safe and Green Games, Disaster and Risk Strategy is under the Games critical services of the Government, and such needs a coordinated approach and response to support GOC”, says GSIC Chair.
The meeting was also briefed by the Director of the National Disaster Management Office, the Lead Agency in coordinating disaster response, on a proposed PG 23 games plan specific to be implemented if disaster occurs during the Pacific Games.
In order for the plan to be effective, it needs the support of other Government Ministries and Agencies
Apart from NDMO, presentations were also made by the Director of Meteorology Division, In MECDM, and the Deputy Director of Seismology Division in the MMERE on their statutory roles, functions, and responsibilities, in sharing information, and advising on Disaster and safety and management issues.
According to Chair of GSIC, Mr Bataanisia, the immediate task now is for the Different Government Ministries and Agencies, to develop specific Work Plans and Budget, and align with the Pacific Games 2023, and ensure an effective coordinating role among the different SIG Agencies during natural disasters, which also includes various stakeholders, including the RSIPF, ICT and SOE’s, Solomon Power & Solomon Water.
“A follow up meeting to further discuss SIG response to Natural Disasters during the Pacific Games, and to ensure strong and effective coordination mechanisms, is proposed for early 2023”, says the Chair of GSIC.
The Government Services Integration Committee (GSIC) is mandated to coordinate and deliver “A safe and Beautiful Honiara for the Games & Beyond” working with all stakeholders in promoting a Public response and support in creating a safe, & green environment leading up to the Pacific Games 2023.