Basic Weather Equipment And Tropical Cyclone Tracking Map Handed Over To Four Schools And Eight Communities In Makira Ulawa Province

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FOUR Schools and eight communities in Makira Ulawa Province took delivery of new Tropical Cyclone Tracking Maps and basic weather equipment at the provincial capital Kirakira on Wednesday 1st June 2022.

The handing over is the result of a collaborative effort between World Vision Solomon Islands (WVSI), National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), Solomon Islands Meteorological Service (SIMS), Australian Bureau of Meteorology, and World Vision Australia through the Australian Humanitarian Partnership.

The four schools are Manama School of Manihuki Community, Tapipara of Manita community, Toroiwango school of Wango community, and Etemwarore school of Tadahadi community and the rest are Togori community, Kaokaoragana community, Waita community, and Maniora community.

The Tropical Cyclone Tracking Maps will help the 4 schools and 8 communities to strengthen their capacity to prepare and respond well to disasters through the leadership of their village disaster committees and the active participation of the communities, including people with special needs.

A community rep receiving a cyclone tracking map flanked by Premier Maka’a, World Vision rep and Director SIMS.

Speaking before the formal handover, the Director of SIMS Mr. David Hiriasia, said his Division is happy to work in partnership with World Vision and the eight communities in this Disaster Risk Reduction Project. He said organizations like WVSI are the experts in working with communities. Their valuable input in the whole collaborative effort with all stakeholders is the result of the handing over we are witnessing today.

Responding to the remarks from Director SIMS, Premier of Makira Ulawa Province, Mr. Julian Maka’a thanked WVSI, NDMO, and SIMS for working with their overseas partners to secure the equipment that will help the people of his Province.

Premier Maka’a was particularly pleased with SIMS and its stakeholders for really taking this particular initiative down to his people at the village level. “A lot of time we hear about funding for various projects coming into the country from abroad, but this is the first time it has reached the people down there who needed it,” he said.

School teacher from one of the schools mounting a rain gauge

He further stated that for the country to move forward, these linkages must go right down to the communities. By doing so, communities will have a better understanding and appreciation of why the government is engaged in certain projects and why donor partners are willing to help us. These are important understandings that must exist between the government and its people.

Meanwhile, four schools also received basic weather equipment from the SIMS funded by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology through the World Vision AHP Disaster Ready Program in Makira Ulawa Province. The equipment will help complement the theory part of students’ learning, to be able to do hands-on experiments using the equipment.

The initiative is part of the SIMS awareness approach to help students and communities better understand the science and technical aspects behind weather processes that impact our daily lives.

Speaking on behalf of World Vision who is a major partner in delivering the project, Ms. Judith Kaki, Manager of General Services, said her organization is pleased to be a partner in this very important undertaking and thanked the education authority, teachers, and students of the four schools for allowing the project to carry out its activities in their schools despite the additional commitment it requires from teachers, but hopes that the benefits derived from the project’s activities will outweigh the pressure of additional responsibilities.

She thanked the SIMS, NDMO, and Makira Ulawa Province for partnering and supporting the work of World Vision Solomon Islands to secure the equipment from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

As part of SIMS’s continuing effort to help people at the village level to receive disaster-related early warnings, mobile phones have been provided to chairpersons of each of the participating communities’ Disaster Committees. The mobile phones have the capability of receiving real-time SMS warnings from SIMS should a possible disaster becomes imminent.

In the event where mobile communication is disrupted, a man pack two-way radio system has also been installed at a strategic location that communities can access during disasters. Added to that, notice boards for general awareness materials and warnings have also been installed at various locations.

The handing over was followed by basic training on the equipment and a simulation exercise to test the effectiveness of SIMS’s new SMS early warning system currently being developed with financial support from the AHP.

The handing over ceremony is witnessed by Officials from the Makira Ulawa Provincial Government, Provincial Disaster Management Office, representatives from the Makira Red Cross Office, and members of the participating communities and schools.


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John Houanihau
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