Disaster READY: Provincial-level preparedness in Papua New Guinea

Disaster READY Papua New Guinea partner ChildFund, through the Plan International consortium, supported the Central Province Government to develop an Emergency Contingency Plan to better prepare for future disasters.

Tumai Ipou is the Central Province Disaster Adviser responsible for managing disaster risk reduction and emergency responses in the province and shared his thoughts on the support provided through Disaster READY.

Above: Central Province Government staff work on the Provincial Emergency Contingency Plan. Photo credit: ChildFund.

Above: Central Province Government staff work on the Provincial Emergency Contingency Plan. Photo credit: ChildFund.

“Before this support through Disaster READY, we faced challenges or had a weakness in technical know-how and timing (for responding to emergencies). In the past, we did what we knew needed to be done but the timing was not always correct. We also did not have practical plans in place to guide the identification of risks and needs, planning, mobilising and coordinating resources,” Mr Ipou said. 

Following a series of workshops facilitated by ChildFund in partnership with the Central Province Government, participants agreed on simple standard operating procedures and clear and practical steps to follow in the event of an emergency. The plan also sets out roles and responsibilities and lines of reporting.  

“The plan clarifies the communication structure from provincial level right down to ward level, including roles and responsibilities,” Mr Ipou said. 

A surprising but welcome outcome of this work in Central Province was that the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) of Fiji requested a similar process and support for them to develop a National Contingency Plan. 

Mr Ipou is now encouraging other PNG provinces to develop Emergency Contingency Plans.  

Clare PriceComment