Climate project focus

THE World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Pacific has initiated a project after Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston, aimed at helping communities prepare well for natural disasters.

The disaster risk reduction project titled “Building the Resilience of the Pacific through Disaster Preparedness”, is jointly funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

According to the project’s climate change officer, Sanivalati Tubuna, helping communities prepare well would minimise the financial burdens caused by natural disasters.

He said WWF Pacific’s interest in the area of disaster risk reduction was instigated after the organisation took on different responsibilities, as opposed to its normal duties, during and after Severe TC Winston.

“During and immediately after TC Winston, the organisation had to stop all its project activities to be able to provide disaster relief services including emotional support, tarpaulins, food rations, seeds, farming tools etcetera,” he said.

According to Mr Tubuna, the project would focus on helping build the resilience and adaptive capacity of the project communities.

It would also help to build the capacity of WWF Pacific program officers to prepare for and respond to disasters in the future.

“The participatory and systematic process of building safe shelters to withstand natural disasters to a certain degree will help prevent affected communities from compromising the long term impacts of protected or conserved sites.

“It has been found that people of these communities had to harvest resources like fish early and sell them to be able to meet their immediate financial, food, water and particularly shelter needs.”

Last week, about 40 participants were part of a safe shelter building workshop at Natutu Village in Ba.

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