Procurement skills are critical when the government is dealing with a disaster. The efficiency to which relief is provided to affected areas relies on the efficiency in planning, procurement and logistics.
A Ministry of Economy team was embedded at the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) since 16th December 2020 for TC Yasa Relief Efforts. Included in the team is the Fiji Procurement Office (FPO) team. They have been working closely with NDMO and its Planning & Logistics Team to assist with procurement and transportation of food relief packs and non-food items (NFI) to the vessels at the Suva & Natovi Ports.
Given their understanding of the markets, FPO officers had to draw on their knowledge and supplier management skills to arrange for the food relief to be manufactured and packed in food packs within 2 days after the cyclone. The procurement team is led by our Senior Procurement Officer Alfred Anthony and supported by our Procurement Officers Salesi Bolai, Jilian Naceno, Ronika Nand, Savenaca Matawalu and Atonio Delana. To ensure efficiency, the procurement process started even before TC Yasa made landfall with Mr Waisea Uluivanuavatu, the senior in charge of whole of government contracts securing the support from our contracted suppliers in readiness for the relief efforts.
The FPO disaster logistics operations in Suva is led by our Senior Logistics Officer Maciu Camaibulu. The Lautoka logistics operations is led by Mr. Jonetani Lasaqa and supported by Ms Vaseva Nasau. The Lautoka office manages the clearances and transportation of donated relief items from Nadi Airport to Suva while the Suva team manages the movements from warehouses to port. Distribution and logistics in the affected areas is managed by NDMO and the Divisional Commissioners and District Officers.
“There are four teams which we use for the operation in Suva’ Mr. Anthony said “All members of the teams are from Fiji Procurement office who work with other government agencies to ensure we send the food rations and non-food items efficiently. For transportation, we work closely with Mr Seremaia Seru from Government Fleet Unit (Ministry of Economy) who arranges for vehicles. The team was fully committed to assist NDMO deliver the rations and NFIs to the affected people”
The logistics team has two teams, one working out of Nadi Airport clearing relief items at the airport while the other work with NDMO to assist in the movement of the goods to warehouse and to the ports. Similarly, our procurement team has two teams. One manages procurement while the other is stationed at the suppliers warehouse (Suva & Lautoka) to oversee food ration packing.
Since TC Yasa made landfall on 17 December 2020, the team has been working through weekends including Christmas and New Year. “What better way to spend Christmas and New Year” remarked Mr. Maciu Camaibulu “The devastation by TC Yasa was shocking and I feel for the people affected. We are happy that our small contribution will help people recover and rebuild their lives”
The team was at NDMO until the State of Natural Disaster was lifted.