A concern during the sudden onset of a disaster is whether or not there is enough information about the most impacted areas. Thankfully an emergency preparedness and response tool looks at this specific situation and is able to address such emergency preparedness issues. The 72-hour Assessment tool workshop happened from the 3 – 4 March and enabled participants to have a better understanding of relevant information and key players during the sudden onset of disasters. The workshop funded by the Government of Japan and facilitated by the World Food Programme with support from the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) brought a range of local food security cluster stakeholders together. The 72-hour approach as it is informally known looks at 3 phases of information management during the emergency management cycle being Data preparedness, Initial Assessment and Data Validation. The workshop had a keen focus on food security and ensuring clear communication between ministries and agencies that collect demographic and livelihood information related emergency management.
The Minister of Climate Change launched in its compound the 9 Port Vila Tsunami Sirens on the 3rd of August 2017.The government of Japan through the World Bank funded the 3-year roject known as Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (MDRR) that aims to identify urban hazard areas in Vanuatu and strengthen resources to increase preparedness toward Tsunami events. The launching event, marking the MDRR project completion, was attended by NGOS, Private Sectors,The Lord Mayor, Shefa Province Representative, Ministry of Climate Change staff and other government officers. Allattendees (including all Port Vila town residents and surrounding villages) were allowed the opportunity to hear the sirens ring for 30 seconds after the launching ceremony.
Director General, Jesse Benjamin from the Ministry of Climate Change thanks the Vanuatu National Disaster Office, the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department, Local Authorities Department and the Shefa Province for their collaboration on this project which is the first of its kind in the pacific, establishing over a hundred tsunami evacuation signs, 52 Tsunami information boards, 74 evacuation maps and 9 Tsunami sirens. Acknowledgements were also extended to Communities, Land Owners and Port Municipality for allowing installation of the tsunami sirens and signage boards around Efate and Santo.
Mrs Janet Orah, Acting Shefa SG acknowledged that the SHEFA Area Secretary Network will continue to look after the existing tsunami resources. In addition, the Lord Mayor stresses the importance on educating our schools on the usage of the tsunami evacuation signage and sirens.