Evaluating the effectiveness of DRR in Tafea

CARE International has been implementing community based Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation (DRR & CCA) programs in the Tafea Province since 2011.  The program was implemented in close coordination with the provincial government, including training and support for the Provincial Disaster and Climate Change Committee (PDCCC) and the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), and in partnership with other agencies through the Yumi Redi Project Consortia. Developing a tailored Community Disaster Response Plan for each community was a central elements of the program.

A year after tropical cyclone Pam, an independent study was commissioned to evaluate the impact of CARE’s DRR interventions and see if the DRR & CCA program had made a difference in a large scale emergency.  The study gathered data from nine communities in Tafea Province on the islands of Aniwa, Erromango and Tanna.  The study compares those communities that had the disaster preparedness initiatives versus those that had no such interventions.  

The study is unique in providing an evidence base for the Government of Vanuatu and partner agencies to further develop disaster risk management programming.

For more information on the results of this DRR & CCA assessment please follow this link.

Sanma Red Cross Emergency Response Team

For the cyclone season from November 2016 to March 2017, the Sanma Red Cross - Emergency Response Team (ERT)  alongside the Sanma NDMO office took the initiative to refresh the knowledge of its volunteers and others that are directly involved in Disaster work in Sanma province on Disaster Risk Reduction Principles.

The Disaster Risk Reduction Principles refresher course which last a week was facilitated by the Red Cross Disaster Risk Reduction coordinator - Mr Agustine Karae. It has equiped the participants with the right knowledge that they can utilize to assist Sanma Community's should any disaster event occur in this cyclone season. As a co-facilitor, Mr Kensly Micah, the Sanma NDMO officer took this opportunity to inform the participants about the NDMO reporting and organizational structure to help the participants understand where to go to and what to do during a disaster event. With that he also introduced and explained how to use the Fes Komuniti Assessmen Fom.

The knowledge gained from the refresher course should enable the participants to assist the Sanma Provincial Disaster committee to do assessments, response and distribute relief to affected victims of any disaster event.


Disability advocacy for cyclone season

National Coordinator for Vanuatu - Disability Promotion & Advocacy Association (DPA), Ms Nelly Caleb appeals to parents, care givers or family relatives and community at large to take good care of people with disabilities during this cyclone season. “DPA has received stories in the past where people with disabilities lack necessary assistance when it comes to disaster strike thus DPA is appealing to everyone to assist people with disabilities during disasters,” stated Ms Caleb. She added that during disasters and emergency situations people with disabilities may need additional assistance to obtain the services they need and it is everyone’s responsibility to make sure people with disabilities receive this additional assistance.

 DPA reminds everyone on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Person with Disabilities, article 10 which talks about Right to Life and article 11 on situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies. Article 10 stated that countries are to make sure people with disability enjoy the right to life which every human being has and also article 11 thus stresses that countries are to do what is necessary to make sure people with disability are safe and protected in emergency situations, like fires, floods and other natural disasters, war and other large scale emergencies.

 Ms Caleb is also appealing to every stake holders and communities, to continue to include people with disabilities in decision making and every aspect of development in our societies and most importantly allow them to participate in this developments. 

As National Coordinator for Vanuatu - Disability Promotion & Advocacy Association (DPA), Ms Nelly Caleb would like to take this opportunity also to wish people with disabilities throughout Vanuatu a prosperous New Year 2017.  “This year will be a very busy year for DPA as we work with our donor partners to continue the work for advocacy in our Nation and with upcoming projects, 2017 is the year of growth and success in the community of disability in our country,” says Ms Caleb . She acknowledges the government, partners and community at large for the past collaborations with DPA and added that DPA looks forward for similar or more collaboration throughout 2017 and the future.

 DPA is a charitable national organization in Vanuatu working towards advancing the rights of people with disability in Vanuatu. 

For more information on advocating for People with Disability, please follow this link.

-Source: Disability Promotion & Advocacy Association - Luganville, SANMA Province.

NDMO update on donations and relief items

The challenges of donated relief items and the benefits of cash donations

The National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) is grateful to receive generous assitance from individuals, groups, communities and countries in times of large scale emergency response. This assistance comes in many different forms, including technical assistance, logistics support, cash donations and donated goods. After the devastating effects of Tropical Cyclone Pam in 2015 Vanuatu received over 70 shipping containers of goods from all over the world. Such donations are known in the humanitarian response community as unsolicited bilateral donations or UBDs. While these items are donated by well-meaning individuals and groups, UBDs may not be appropriate for Vanuatu. UBDs instead of acting as relief items can create additional pressure to the already stretched humanitarian supply chain system.  The items can incur significant costs in storage and handling fees. They can also have a substantial environmental impact if they are not usable or damaged and need to be discarded.  For these reasons the NMDO is promoting responsible donations through the message that ‘cash is best’.  

161220 Report Challenges of UBD in Pacific Page 06

     "...all donor agencies to support response efforts through cash donations rather than solicited goods. He said an effective way to help next time disasters strike is through cash donations as it would allow relief supplies to be purchased near the disaster site, avoiding delays, steep transportation and logistical costs"
- Director, Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office

The National Disaster Management Office supports public education to encourage monetary support and discourage unsolicited material donations to reduce the volume of inappropriate items sent to disaster sites.  Please refer to the National Disaster Management Office list of partner agences (here) to see organisations that know Vanuatu well.  The NDMO encourages anyone wanting to support emergency response in the country to do so through one of these agencies. 

Some of the issues around unsolicited bilateral donations include the following:

  • Arrive unannounced or with very short notice
  • Faulty paperwork
  • Lack of clearly defined consignee
  • Non-standard items
  • Incorrect packaging 

Vanuatu has undertaken a review of its Disaster Act in light of events that unfold during TC Pam. The review process seeks to overcome legal and regulatory issues in disaster management including the influx of UBDs.

The Australian Red Cross have produced a summary of the issues surrounding cash donations in the Pacific.  A copy of this report can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.  The report lists a number of benefits of cash donations rather than unsolicited donations:

  1. Purchase to be made near the disaster site therefore supporting local economies, reducing transport cost etc.
  2. Cash is fast and flexible and allows relief Organisation to provide what is most needed and relevant at the time and allows people to make their own choices.
  3. It prevents the logistics issues that are created by UBDs in responses such as clogged ports; warehouses and other components of the logistics supply chain as well as taking time and resources from the response.