Friday, May 24, 2013

Views from the Frontline finds lack of engagement with local communities in disaster risk reduction

Makereta Komai in via PACNEWS (Fiji): Lack of engagement and co-ordination between local authorities and communities in the Pacific on disaster risk reduction, is among a number of findings from a survey conducted by the Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International (FSPI). Titled, Views from the Frontline, the report gathers the views of stakeholders on the progress made by their countries on disaster risk reduction. It highlights where more action is needed and also build local level partnership to mobilise more effective action.

In the Pacific, FSPI carried out the survey in six Pacific Island Countries (Fiji, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu), gathering views from the frontline, targeting community and local government representatives.

 There were five main recommendations centred on lack of participation and inclusion of local communities in disaster risk reduction planning and implementation. There were strong suggestions for partnerships between local authorities, communities and the private sector to make decisions on disaster risk reduction.

FSPI Regional Disaster Office, Jiuta Korovulavula presented findings from the Pacific at one of the plenary sessions at the UN Global Platform on disaster reduction conference in Geneva this week. “The lack of community participation is the situation across all the six Pacific countries.  At the same time, the poorest in the community are the most vulnerable to impacts of disaster.

“There are a lot of consistencies across the board. It is national and local government’s responsibility to provide service delivery. However, very little seems to reaching people in the community.  It falls back on how national delivery is planned and how resources are allocated on those plans. 

“We need to take a step back and fix those operational issues because if not, when we come to the end result, there will not be much progress in terms of the inclusion of vulnerable groups and communities in processes for their own development, Korovulavula explained to PACNEWS....

Iririki Island on Vanuatu, shot by Nicky, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license


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