For three decades, the encroaching ocean slowly ate away at the coast on which the Awak Elementary School sat, threatening the education and safety of children there in the Federated States of Micronesia.
The people mobilised, and with the help of the Pacific Community (SPC), built a gambion wall to stop the biggest threat facing the U Municipality.
Today, the school is able to continue providing education for six villages, with a population of more than 1000 people, in the safe confines of its boundary – thanks to the European Union.
Under the ACP-EU Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific (BSRP) project which has been implemented by the Pacific Community (SPC), the Gabion wall was built to protect the school, using wire mesh baskets filled with rocks to create a strong yet flexible barrier against the sea that could withstand highwater pressures.
Combining science with adaptation and mitigation strategies gabion baskets were properly anchored and protected with geotech materials to prevent soil particles from washing away.
This is their success story.
The islanders of Arno in the Republic of Marshall Islands face a constant crisis with fresh clean drinking water. With climate change causing more extreme weather events, the Marshall Islands faces rising sea water levels and declining fresh supplies. Thanks to the Pacific Community’s Building Safety and Resilience Project, which is funded by the European Union (EU) through the ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) Group of States, the islanders are able to tackle the problem of water shortages in the atolls. This is their story.
Disasters have had an impact on the lives of women all around the world. Generally women are looked at in disasters
only as victims despite the fact that the majority of victims in disasters are women and children. In the Cook Islands, they are changing the tide and women play a central role before, during and after a disaster.
In the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Pam in March 2015, the NDMO found in their Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) that the communication and information flow between the national response coordination agencies needed significant improvement, which resulted in the misdirection of vital relief supplies for affected communities, delaying their recovery.
In an effort to address this, the BSRP Project supported the Vanuatu government by funding the building of three provincial emergency operations centers.
The training, supported by the European Union ACP (EU) funded Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific (BSRP) Project, outlines the roles and responsibilities of key people operating in the EOC and gives trainees an understanding of the national emergency management framework. The three day EOC training, is compromised of two units of competency, level 3 applied knowledge to work in an EOC and level 4 Effective teamwork and it is an accredited technical and vocational education training (TVET) course. The EOC training aims to train officers in EOC operational procedures and outlines the key roles and responsibilities of each officer before, during and after a disaster.
Through the Building Safety and Resilience in the Pacific Project, the Pacific Island Emergency Alliance arranged partnerships between the Kiribati Fire Services and the South Australia Country Fire Services (SCAFS) with the aim to improve emergency response in Kiribati. Through this arrangement, SCAFS has donated a fire truck, a tanker, and fire equipment to assist the Kiribati fire department in managing a fire. Along with the donation, SCAFS provided basic fire training course for all officers involved in fire emergency operations.
The village of Tukuraki in Fiji's highlands on the main island of Viti Levu was destroyed in 2012 by a large landslide. Tragically the lives of a young family was lost and the community was forced to relocate to temporary homes due to the land being deemed unstable and at risk of further landslides. Disaster continued to impact the community when they were hit by a Category 4 Cyclone at the end of 2012 and again in early 2016 by the most severe cyclone ever to impact Fiji's shores.
Lessons Learnt TC Winston
This documentary is the voices of those that were affected by Tropical Cyclone Winston when it struck into Fiji on 20 February 2016.
TC Winston packed winds of up to 320km/h, killed 44 people, and caused FJD 1.99bn worth of damage to the developing nation of Fiji. The devastation was unprecedented and the recovery will take years for many communities to rebuild.
This documentary captures the Lessons Learned by communities, leaders, Government, community groups and other people directly affected by the disaster and shows the resilience of this country to build back better and improve future disaster management response.The documentary was developed in partnership with the National Disaster Management Office and the Pacific Community.
VFA PIEMA ACT
The Pacific Islands Emergency Management Alliance (PIEMA) is dedicated to supporting a safer Pacific while creating excellence in emergency management.
As part of PIEMAs work a twinning arrangement has been made with the Australian Capital Territory Fire Service (ACT Fire & Rescue). This arrangement is to be formalised with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding over the course of the event in Vanuatu.This MoU not only supports a long-term relationship with ACT Fire & Emergency Service and the Vanuatu Government but it genuinely helps in creating a safer Pacific because two firetrucks are being donated as part of this work, which will be the first operating firetrucks for Port Villa in recent years.