By: Peter Murorera

Communities that become exposed to extreme weather conditions and are prone to natural hazards are always the first responders to an emergency.

Improved community-based preparedness and mitigation can help save lives and minimize disaster losses.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), local authorities, and communities of Zumara in Morobe province, and Moian, Drimdamasuk, Atkamba and Senamrae in Western province launched their Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) plans that were developed with the inputs of women, men, youth, and vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities from the target communities.

Drafting and finalization of these plans received technical inputs from IOM and Provincial Disaster Centres (PDCs). Launching of the CBDRM plan in each target community was witnessed by Ward Councilors, provincial authorities, and local communities.

Government and IOM staff present at the launches encouraged the communities to take ownership in implementing their CBDRM plans. Administrator for North Fly District, Greg Isau commended IOM for its tireless efforts in the district and stressed the need for stronger working partnerships.

“The Government continues to provide services to the people through disaster management programs. However, there are gaps and challenges that we face. We appreciate very much the support and partners such as IOM as well as donor funding from USAID,” said North Fly’s District Administrator, Greg Isau. 

Greg Isau: “This is first of its kind for the province, where such plans are developed and owned by the local communities, as living documents to build upon. Local communities must work closely with Government officers and other relevant partners in implementing their CBDRM plans.”

Max Maina, North Fly District Disaster Coordinator expressed gratitude to IOM and USAID for promoting community resilience to natural hazards in the province saying, “With the technical support of IOM, the District has shifted from just responding to disaster events, to empowering communities including developing their community-driven risk management plans.”

In complement to operationalizing their CBDRM plans, IOM through USAID funding provided communities with material support such as form water tanks, roofing sheets, cement, and galvanized iron poles, improving communities access to clean and safe drinking water in Zumara, Drimdamasuk and Senamrae (rain-fed catchment), and Atkamba (combination of gravity-fed and solar powered system).

In Drimdamasuk, the community improved its preparedness to disasters through refurbishing its evacuation centre following IOM’s material support.

Funded by Hela Provincial Government, IOM is also supporting Puju, Yambraka and Kuandi communities to develop and implement their CBDRM plans.

IOM’s programming is implemented in close cooperation with the National Disaster Centre and Provincial Disaster Centre and aligns to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and Papua New Guinea’s National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework (2017-2030).

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals