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Local man recognized for regional leadership

Leilua Mase Akapo receiving the 2012 NDPTC Leadership Award in Honolulu last week. NDPTC Executive Director Karl Kim is in the background after presenting the award to Leilua. [courtesy photo]

Pago Pago, American Samoa—Local Meteorologist in charge of the Tafuna Weather Service Office, Leilua Mase Akapo was recognized last week at the 10th Annual Pacific Risk Management Ohana Conference in Honolulu for his leadership in the region in helping to develop and facilitate programs which help to save lives.

In presenting the award at the PRiMO conference on behalf of the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC), Executive Director Karl Kim awarded the 2012 Community Resiliency Leadership Award to Leilua, recognizing him as a “Strong, constant advocate for local capacity building and self reliance, who leads by example, combining modern science with traditional wisdom and culture.”

“He has helped to facilitate bottom-up, grassroots training among village elders, village womens and mens organizations, retired professionals and interested community members.  The majority of NDPTC certified trainers in Samoa have been Samoan first language speakers and from coastal villages which experienced much devastation and loss of life. He emulates the very essence of the Whole Community concept recently adopted by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency,” said Kim.

He added, “The NDPTC is honored and privileged and blessed to work with Leilua Mase Akapo Akapo.  I would like to note that he has been tremendously supportive of the NDPTC and its many partners such as the International Tsunami Information Center, Pacific Services Center, and NOAA in the development and delivery of the training courses in American Samoa.”

Upon receiving the prestigious award, Leilua gave credit to his staff at the Tafuna Weather Service Office, saying that they are the people who do all the work and he thanked them for their commitment and dedication to the people that they are there to serve.

Source: PRiMO conference media release



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