BY JOHN HOUANIHAU
THE provinces of Malaita and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands will benefit from a signed two-year US$1 million under the USAID funded project which will focus on disaster risk reduction policies and management.
The Government of the United States of America funded project are focused on communities in the Weather Coast region of South Guadalcanal and Northern region of Malaita, according to the World Vision National, Director Jimmy Nadapdap at the official launch of a recently signed project agreement held on Wednesday 27 January at the Heritage Park Hotel in Honiara.
The two years SBD 8 million projects from September 2020 to September 2022 will be implemented by World Vision Solomon Islands.
The launching program was officiated by the US Embassy officials, Malaita and Guadalcanal provincial government representatives, and World Vision officials.
World Vision National, Director Jimmy through a virtual presentation said the project aims to benefit more than 2000 people in respective communities of South Guadalcanal and North Malaita.
“The project aims to increase the resilience of the recipient communities through the support of disaster risk management and community health programs.
“Solomon Islands are amongst the world’s most disaster-prone countries vulnerable to cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and other natural hazards. With low-lying islands and atolls, they are at risk of climate change and sea-level rise.
“It means the project will stimulate exercises, train community members understanding of disaster risk reductions approaches, and support the creation of community-based early-warning systems during the two-year program,” the Director of the World Vision said.
He explained that the project aims to empower government agencies and targeted communities to assess and manage risks by conducting participatory capacity and vulnerability assessment, establishing village disaster response committees, and developing community action plans.
The project was made possible by USAID under the United States government through the Bureaus of Humanitarian Aid and World Vision Solomon Islands based on the theme ‘Building Resilient Communities in the Solomon Islands to Prepare and Response to Climate Change and Future Natural Disasters, and project goals ‘equipping vulnerable communities in the Solomon Islands’.
Guadalcanal Provincial Government Representative and Minister for Environment and Climate Change Division, Richard Reti thanked US Government and World Vision for making the timely and important project possible for their communities and people.
“On behalf of the Premier of Guadalcanal province and his executive government, their sincere acknowledgment to world vision especially the American people for funding the project. The project will indeed beneficial to the people of Guadalcanal once it commences,” Reti said.
He later revealed that similar to other provinces in the Solomon Islands, Guadalcanal province is vulnerable to natural hazards, with a growing population of 120,000, this means that people will be affected when disaster strikes, as a result, there’s a time we need an international partner more than ever.
Malaita Provincial Premier Hon. Daniel Suidani later reiterated that the support is timely and welcoming to ensure communities are well prepared for the negative effects and bad consequences of climate change, aiding vulnerable people with the disadvantage and disabilities of the communities.
“I have no that this project is heading the new directions to many key effects of climate change by strengthening the many mechanisms that would reduce the effects of climate change on our venerable communities that will be affected by this projects; to arrive at such outcome it requires a wide spectrum of actors to converse and work strategically for such common goals.
World Vision is a Non-government organization working in the Solomon Islands for more than 30 years and currently, they have projects in Malaita, Temotu Guadalcanal, Makira, Honiara, and central islands, focusing on Gender and Child Protection, Livelihoods, Health, WASH, Disaster Risk Reduction and COVID-19 activities.