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“We are now better prepared”: Local Communities Launch and Implement Disaster Risk Management Plans in Hela Province
Port Moresby – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) Plans for Kuandi 2, Yambraka and Puju communities in Hela Province.
The CBDRM plans, developed with the technical assistance of IOM and government authorities in Hela, received inputs from women, girls, men and boys in the beneficiary communities. Community members worked together in identifying critical measures such as evacuation centres and safe drinking water points to mitigate disaster risks and improve resilience.
IOM is supporting the implementation of the CBDRM plans across the target communities in Hela and installed rain-fed catchments promoting resilience to water scarcity. IOM will also provide Puju and Kuandi 2 communities with materials such as roofing sheets, timber, steel poles and cement to construct community resource centres that will serve various purposes, including training venues and to provide evacuation during disasters. Material support will also be provided to the Dauli community to improve its IOM-supported community resource centre.
“I believe that this is the way forward for disaster preparedness and mitigation in Tepi Local Level Government Council Wards. This is an excellent example of practical and effective bottom-up programming that benefits the local communities who are the first responders during a disaster,” said Richard Arawi, Manager for Tebi Local Level Government. “I strongly recommend the roll-out of this community-based planning approach through CBDRM across the council wards in Tebi Local Level Government,” he added.
A community champion, James Komengi, expressed his gratitude and appreciated the efforts by members of the Kuandi 2 community in developing and launching the CBDRM plan. “Hela has been affected by manmade and natural hazards that displaced thousands of people and destroyed many houses and food crop gardens. We welcome the contribution by Hela Provincial Government and IOM in making the local population become more aware of disasters, including the support to better implement mitigation plans,” said James.
Moreen Mokai, Councilor for Kuandi 2, highlighted that community members were relieved by having the plan finalized and launched. “This CBDRM plan is a dream come true and a useful resource to help us work towards being a more resilient community. We are now better prepared and will make sure that this plan is implemented,” said Councilor Moreen.
IOM’s CBDRM interventions in Kuandi 2, Yambraka and Puju communities are funded by Hela Provincial Government through the United Nation’s Highlands Joint Programme.