Preparing for disasters in Guadalcanal Province - Solomon Islands

Photo caption: George Baragamu, Deputy Director of the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), discusses flood gauges with representatives from the Australian Government and World Vision. Photo credit: ©World Vision Australia.

Photo caption: George Baragamu, Deputy Director of the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), discusses flood gauges with representatives from the Australian Government and World Vision. Photo credit: ©World Vision Australia.

World Vision implemented a range of Australian Government-funded activities through the Humanitarian Partnership Agreement (the predecessor to the AHP). Activities were designed to help flood-prone communities inland from Honiara prepare for disasters. This was achieved by helping communities establish Village Disaster Risk Committees and providing these committees with training on the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) manual. The training and manual explained how to respond to different hazards, and supports and instructs committees on designing and implementing their own action plans.

Silen Koeni (below) is chairman of a Village Disaster Risk Committee, as part of their action plan they raise community awareness about disaster preparedness. Committee members identify necessary disaster ready items, with World Vision supplying members with solar batteries and high-visibility vests. Silen says he’s learnt “how to prepare for disaster, [how to] talk with people so they can get ready for any disasters such as flooding or earthquake”.

Photo caption: Silen is chairman of Numbu’s Village Disaster Risk Committee, Solomon Islands. The committee has nine members, both men and women. They provide training on what to do in different hazard situations. Members design their own action plans and raise awareness in their community. Photo credit: ©World Vision Australia

Photo caption: Silen is chairman of Numbu’s Village Disaster Risk Committee, Solomon Islands. The committee has nine members, both men and women. They provide training on what to do in different hazard situations. Members design their own action plans and raise awareness in their community. Photo credit: ©World Vision Australia

World Vision is also partnering with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) to equip communities like Silen’s with flood gauges, so they can respond as quickly as possible. “The equipment gives off a sound as an early warning signal, which the community can recognise - this is all stated in their own action plans,” explains George Baragamu, NDMO’s Deputy Director (above). With World Vision’s encouragement, teachers at the local school make sure children practise flood evacuation drills. “We do this drill every fortnight,” says Principal Rex Kiko. “Every class in my school knows how to do this.” 

Date of article: November 2017.