A new Evacuation Centre in Viqueque, funded by the European Union through the Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific (BSRP) programme, has been inaugurated to reduce vulnerability caused by natural disasters in the Pacific Island States.
Díli, February 26, 2019
The second emergency centre, built under the BSRP, was inaugurated on 26 February in Viqueque. The Evacuation Center will be a safe haven for natural disasters and will also allow the National Disaster Operations Center of Timor-Leste (NDOC) to access the Indonesian Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG) system for earthquake and tsunami warnings, which is important to reduce the impact of such events if they occur.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, Armanda Berta dos Santos, the Secretary of State for Civil Protection, Alexandrino de Araújo, the European Union Ambassador, Alexandre Leitão, the Mayor of Viqueque, Gregorio Henriques and the representative of the Secretariat of the Pacific Commission, Taito Nakalevo.
The Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific (BSRP) is a EUR 19.37 million project funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community of ACP countries - Africa, Caribbean and Pacific - with the support of the Timorese Government. 1.043.267 Euro were invested in Timor-Leste.
The BSRP project aims to support adaptation to climate change and strengthen the capacity of relevant agencies to prepare for and recover from disasters in the Pacific region. The project is now in its 5th and final year of implementation and included the construction of the Suai and Viqueque evacuation centres and a tsunami alarm system in Dili, but also a training component, namely for 60 firefighters, and to raise awareness among young people with campaigns in secondary schools.
The Ambassador of the European Union Alexandre Leitão said: "Civil protection is a priority in any country and its operability is an excellent indicator of a country's development. With climate change, more and more natural disasters will occur. With deforestation, higher temperatures, poor agricultural and land management practices come more fires, more erosion and more floods and landslides. It is therefore essential that in this, as in other programmes, the Timorese Government continues with the cooperation programmes, keeping these centres and alarms in good condition and ready to perform their functions. It is also essential that young people become aware of their responsibilities and acquire the right reflexes to act correctly when they are workers, leaders and educators".