Beneficiary: Lu’isa Uai Taunga
Title: Officer, National Emergency Management Office, Tonga
Training: UNITAR Hiroshima Disaster Risk Reduction Training

“We are vulnerable to tropical cyclones, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, drought and flash floods and it’s an all year cycle,” said Lu’isa Uai Taunga, a citizen of the Kingdom of Tonga, who participated in the UNITAR Disaster Risk Reduction Training which concluded in November 2017.


Lu’isa works as an officer with the Tongan organization NEMO, which stands for National Emergency Management Office. The organization operates under the ministry of MEIDECC (Ministry Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications. Her work in the island group of Ha'apai, consists of coordination disaster risk management and reduction activities. “I want to do as much as I can for the people in the island where I am posted in order to try and alleviate the impacts and effects of natural disasters,” she told UNITAR’s disaster risk reduction training associate, Junko Shimazu.

“The picture of destruction, sorrow and death that I have seen during the site visits were and still are quite vivid in my mind,” shared Lu’isa. Site visits are a crucial part of the UNITAR training programme, something that Lui’sa confided were burned in her memory, yet strengthened her resolve to build programmes for her community.

Credit: UNITAR and National Emergency Management Office/MEIDECC Tonga

National Emergency Management Office/MEIDECC Tonga

Notes and materials from the UNITAR training Lu’isa participated in as part of the Disaster Risk Reduction Programme have continued to be a reference for her on the job. Credit: National Emergency Management Office/MEIDECC Tonga

Lu’isa kept her notes and manuals from her UNITAR training and uses them to inform her work. “I keep referring to my materials given to us during the training in Japan for ideas for my activities,” she shared.

Since her return, Lu’isa has worked on a number of different initiatives aiming to target different sections of her community. “We adopted the ‘leave no one behind kind of concept,” she said. “Skills obtained during my training with UNITAR have helped me in my line of work." Lu'isa has identified it as the priority in her work to raise awareness and building the capacities of these young children, youth and members of our communities.

Credit: UNITAR and National Emergency Management Office/MEIDECC Tonga

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